Southern African Trust, African Philanthropy Network and TrustAfrica are pleased to announce the appointment of the eminent international music star, Baaba Maal, as the voice of marginalized People in Africa. These three pan-African organisations are collaborating under the umbrella of Community Immunity initiative to provide quick-impact support that will bring immediate relief to marginalized communities and people living at the margins of society. The initiative will also provide broad-based support to policy initiatives aimed at proferring long term solutions that will ameliorate the living conditions of poor and marginalized groups in Africa. Towards this objective, the initiative will, among other things, leverage on the public appeal of well-known celebrities, including athletes, artistes and civil society actors, as a platform to reach the unreached and provide succor to the most affected people in society.
The appointment of Baba Maal is in recognition of his antecedents and consistent commitment in using his art to give voice to the voiceless. He is a highly-regarded music star in Africa and worldwide, who is known for his engagement with marginalized communities in Africa and elsewhere and who has spent most of his time mobilizing support and resources for communities and people living at the margins of the society.
Southern African Trust, African Philanthropy Network and TrustAfrica on one hand, and Baaba Maal on the other hand, will be working closely to raise awareness and to raise funds that will be used to provide much-needed support to marginalized communities through the Collective Immunity initiative. The important collaboration will include organization of a series of concerts as well as outreach programmes over an initial period of six months to build support for the initiative.
TrustAfrica is pleased to announce that its Board of Directors has approved a grant of US$20,000.00 to the Southern Africa Research and Documentation Center (SARDC) in order to provide support for Phase V of the Illicit Financial Flows Observatory for Africa project.
Each year Africa loses more than $60 billion through illicit financial flows (IFFs), a number that increases by 20% annually. Curbing Illicit Financial Flows is one of our concerns at TrustAfrica. That is why we launched a popular campaign with a coalition of five other pan-African civil society organizations, in July 2015, to end illicit financial flows from Africa called #stopthebleeding.
We have, all of us, been hurt and angered by the brutal killing of yet another black person in the USA by racist elements of the security forces.
A solidarity statement, signed by many prominent African musicians, journalists, scholars and other intellectuals, civil society organisation leaders and others, was issued today, June 5, 2020, is in English and French. It can be accessed through these links:
Those who want to add their names to the list of signatories can do so online.
The Stop the Bleeding (STB) Consortium, in our shared vision of African citizens living with dignity in a just, integrated and prosperous Africa that equitably and sustainably harnesses its resources and is underpinned by strong and effective institutions, would like to express solidarity with the Family of George Floyd.
We mourn George Floyd, and we remember also Ahmaud Marquez Arbery, Akai Gurley, Alton Sterling, Breonna Taylor, Dante Parker, Dontre Hamilton, Eric Garner, Ezell Ford, Freddie Carlos Gray Jr, Jerame Reid, John Crawford III, Michael Brown Jr, Philando Castille, Rumain Brisbon, Stephon Clark, Tamir Rice, Tanisha Anderson, Tony McDade, Tony Robinson, Walter Scott who lost their lives due to brutality and gross violations. We share the grief, anger, sadness and pain of the Families and Communities concerned.
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COVID-19 has triggered the second biggest crisis in a decade, and possibly the worst recession ever, whilst many countries have not yet recovered from the 2008 financial crisis. These are unprecedented times that will dramatically increase inequalities and have severe impacts on people in developing countries. The pandemic has hit hardest those who have no access to healthcare, who lack a social safety net to fall back on, who don’t rights to sick leave, are in precarious work conditions, have no access to land titles, and those with the greatest unpaid care responsibilities. Among those most impacted by this pandemic and its fallout are poor smallscale farmers, many of whom are women. Whilst being very vulnerable, small-scale farmers also show incredible resilience and supporting them is a key way to help meet the food needs of the people.
By Nkasi Wodu, PeaceBuilding Manager, PIND and Ese Emerhi, Project Director, Kiisi Trust Fund/TrustAfrica
If philanthropy can be defined as the desire to promote the welfare of others, expressed by the generous donation of money to good causes, then for centuries, philanthropic activities have done a lot of good. History is replete with philanthropic organizations changing the course of people’s lives for good. Whether it is building schools, endowing a Chair in a University, providing loans to small businesses at low interest rates, establishing soup kitchens for the marginalized, or setting up shelters for the vulnerable, philanthropy has done a lot of good and will continue to do a lot of good.
For the 10 percent of the world’s population – 734 million people who live on less than $1.90 a day - philanthropy is the only bridge between them and hope for the realization of a better life and future for their kids. But what happens when the purpose of philanthropy isn’t just to do ‘good’? What happens when the source of funds used for philanthropy is tainted and toxic? Does this cancel out the good deed that is done with those funds? Why and how are illicit funds used for philanthropic purposes by criminal networks? It can be argued that even if there are good intentions, the money used to do that good also has to come from a good source. And in 2020, sources of good money are few and far between. For the most notorious amongst us, no matter how many times that toxic money is rinsed, it will still drip sludge on the innocent, still taint that “good thing”, and leave behind a legacy that is hard to swallow.
We are pleased to resume the regular publication of our Newsletter, an important medium through which TrustAfrica has been communicating with you about both global and the specifically African issues. There is no doubt that COVID-19 will profoundly change the world, as we know it, and mark a remarkable turnaround in the shape of global society. TrustAfrica was born from a vision to enable African actors to respond most effectively to the most pressing issues affecting the continent. And COVID-19 will surely be recorded as not only one of the most pressing issues of our time, but also as an occurrence which has most acutely highlighted the fault lines in our society.
The COVID-19 has brought an opportunity to learn and revisit how to build strong resilient African food systems and to safeguard food security and sovereignty. For the millions of small scale, peasant and family farmers who are self-employed and rely heavily on moving perishable and non-perishable goods from rural to urban mass markets and consumers, earning a daily wage, this has had disastrous consequences.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had far reaching impacts on African economies, food insecurity and general well-being of African communities. Apart from the obvious health implications and disruption of livelihood, the pandemic has also disrupted food supply and left many people in real danger of acute starvation. As many countries adopt WHO recommended procedures to limit the movement of people and goods to reduce the spread of the infection, small scale farming communities are bearing the burden of the major disruptions to the food supply systems, as well as unprecedented lost income, harvests and livestock. Fragile land tenure arrangements, especially for women farmers have contributed to increased vulnerabilities. As world food trade is coming to a halt, the pandemic has exposed how dependent African food systems are on global food imports, now buckling under border closures. Investments in safeguarding local farmers’ rights, food systems and increased production are very low, leading to high food prices and widespread food insecurity and hunger in the region.