Mawuse Hotor (middle) and her parents, Mary Ahotor and Gabriel, cocoa farmers in Ghana
“Engaging with and raising the participation of impacted communities has been a continuous challenge in sustainability initiatives.”
Veronika Ratri, Business Watch Indonesia (BWI)
Solidaridad, Fairfood, TrustAfrica and Business Watch Indonesia (BWI) are excited to launch our new joint programme, RECLAIM SUSTAINABILITY! This five-year programme (2021-2025) will be implemented in strategic partnership with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, within their Policy Framework Strengthening Civil Society. With this programme, we strive to foster genuine and inclusive sustainability in global value chains, where the voices of farmers, miners, workers and citizens are well represented in decision making, and civil society is strengthened.
In recent years, sustainability has become something of a buzzword in international supply chains, the media, and consumer marketing. However, this has not yet created the desired impact, for there can be no genuine sustainability when the people who produce the products consumed by us all continue living in poverty; when natural resources are not managed sustainably, civic space in many countries is limited, and the working conditions of millions of producers are abject. Farmers, miners and workers are key players in tackling major challenges such as poverty and climate change, yet their voices are often unheard. The global COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated the situation of millions of people worldwide.
“The pandemic is exaggerating existing inequalities in food supply chains. While we are all highly dependent on smallholder farmers and workers for our food, they find themselves in exceptionally vulnerable positions. We remain optimistic, as we recognise that the world is gaining momentum to actually build up better as we collectively hit rock bottom. With greatly improved awareness for sustainability from everyone involved in global supply chains – consumers, government and private sector – we can make change happen. Our joint programme taps into this momentum using smart innovations, thus heralding an era of truly inclusive supply chains, in which farmers and workers reclaim their rightful voice.”
Sander de Jong, Fairfood
While 2021 may feel like a continuation of 2020, there is something significant about marking the start of a new year. As we get into our programming rhythm in the new year, we would like to reach out to you with an update. A new year brings with it, new possibilities and new trajectories for becoming a healthier, more just and vibrant society. We invite you as partners, friends and communities to be in solidarity with communities who are working tirelessly with hope for justice, participatory democracy, peace and decent living conditions across the continent.
While we have some existential questions requiring urgent action this year, we are also privileged to be working across communities who are responding to the challenges of this time with integrity, vision and passion. And we look forward to sharing some of these stories with you throughout the year.
The problem of illicit financial flows out of Africa is a festering problem. Every year $88.6 billion is lost yet we remain burdened with such high poverty and inequality levels. Civil society must redouble their effort to fight this scourge. Be part of Relaunch of the Stop the Bleeding Campaign!
Trust Africa, the pan-African developmental foundation over the weekend continued the distribution exercise of some 30, 000 face masks to frontline healthcare providers as the on-going battle against Covid-19 pandemic intensifies across the West African country.
The foundation which is a think-tank working for the development of the African continent and its people with an expressed commitment towards the on-going fight by providing the much-needed relief to healthcare workers in Senegal as part of its contribution to the concerted efforts to curtail the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
The distribution exercise kicked off on Wednesday with donations made to healthcare works within Dakar and its suburbs then reaching regions of Thies on Thursday and Ziguinchor on Friday (January 29).
TrustAfrica Foundation and V6 CO Online Medical Supplies have collaborated to provide much-needed relief to healthcare workers in Senegal as part of their contribution to the concerted efforts to curtail the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. The two organisations are donating thirty thousand high-quality masks which are to be used for the protection of frontline healthcare providers in the fight against the pandemic.
The N95 high-quality masks, worth about seventy million CFA, are already being distributed to hospitals, health facilities and institutions working night and day against the pandemic in support of their efforts and as an expression of commitment to vulnerable communities.
Written by Ese Emerhi is the project/team lead for TrustAfrica’s Nigeria and West Africa programming
It’s a disappointing fact that after seventy years, civil society and non-profit organizations in the Global South still rely heavily on external aid from the Global North for their survival. There are justifiable arguments that this donor dependency needs to stop or change, and inherent in this argument is the negative power dynamics that this has created within the development sector that has led to competition, mistrust, lack of cooperation, and an overarching objective of donors to prolong the “problem” so they can remain in “business.” If giving aid is ultimately about solving problems and correcting injustice, why are there still so many wicked and toxic problems to solve?
Systemic and transformative social change is a long-term objective that involves many players and factors. One approach to tackling transformative change from donors has been to support new entrants into civil society by giving small grants that address immediate needs. These small local community-based organizations learning on-the-go often lack deep organizational capacity — staff, internal structure, knowledge, and access to decision-makers — and so results and impacts are often muted and focus mostly on outputs rather than sustained impact. For some donors and government actors, the small grants approach have been the response or push back to traditional aid — externally designed explanations and solutions to long-term entrenched problems — by directly involving local actors in the design phase and turning over some power to them to provide solutions to their own problems. This approach certainly has some merits, and, in some instances, it has shown very promising results by ensuring local agency and voice in addressing some of society’s challenges. But it has its limits.
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The 8th Pan-African Conference (PAC) on Illicit Financial Flows and Taxation, which took place virtually from 9 to 13 November 2020, was quite successful and mutually beneficial to both the Participants and organisers. The theme of this edition was: ‘’The Africa we want after COVID-19: Optimising the Mobilization of the Internal Resources of the Extractive Sector for the Transformation of Africa’’
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2020 edition was held in form of physical events (in countries where this was possible) and virtual sessions, on the margins of the meeting and plenary sessions. To make this conference a success, various committees were set up. Among them was the Communications Committee, which was in charge of reporting the event and ensuring its visibility across the African continent with the support of the media. This press-book is a reflection of the extent and quality of the media coverage.
TrustAfrica has launched a project over the past two years to address gender-based violence as a persistent obstacle, among others, to Francophone women empowerment in West Africa, particularly in three priority countries, Senegal, Burkina Faso, and Mali. The Foundation has invested in this through the transformation of social norms, research, technical assistance, and capacity building.
With the global pandemic COVID-19, the main risk factors and acts of violence against women and girls have been exacerbated, especially with the closure of schools and universities and the lockdown. Besides physical and verbal abuse, many girls have had to drop out of school. TrustAfrica, together with its partners, was able to respond immediately to the crisis by establishing a rapid response mechanism to support initiatives that address these issues in this new context.
Using the “International 16 days of activism campaign against gender-based violence (GBV)” as a pretext, TrustAfrica organizes a panel discussion to support the current initiatives, mobilize actors and share knowledge with the various stakeholders.
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The original strategic approach of the Trust in 2017 was a focus on supporting local community-based organizations to implement projects in any of the seven thematic funding areas of the Trust. It was understood and appreciated that funding projects in a conflict-prone area to promote community development and other activities that support sustained economic development is a complex exercise with high risks, and hence, the need to work with local community-based organizations with the support of small grants to increase capacity and minimize risks.
In conceptualizing the Trust’s work with local community-based organizations, the Trust worked with a local Advisory Council made up of predominately Ogoni representatives and seasoned development practitioners to identify organizations and make funding recommendations to the Trustees of the Kiisi Trust. The Council met quarterly to review funding dockets, and as part of their work in discharging their responsibilities, met with Ogoni community representatives and stakeholders to discuss the work of the Trust. Between 2017
and 2020, the Advisory Council reviewed and debated over 64 grant applications and ultimately recommended 35 of those funding applications. Those funded projects resulted in impacting 30,861 beneficiaries in 68 communities across the 4 local government areas of Ogoniland. The Trust supports projects in seven thematic areas: agriculture, women’s programs, peacebuilding, education, governance, health, youth skills development/SME.