On 15 June 2021 TrustAfrica Board Trustee Sibongile Mkhabela – known to us at TrustAfrica as “Bongi” - was bestowed by the President of the French Republic through the French Embassy in South Africa, Pretoria the “Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite” which in English translates as the “National Order of Merit”. The honor is accorded for a minimum of 10 years of distinguished public service in military or civil achievements. We congratulate Bongi on this acknowledgment of her service par excellence over the decades and share with you our own tribute which was shared during the ceremony here. To watch the full ceremony, watch the Embassy of France, South Africa livestream here.
TrustAfrica, together with their consortium partner Solidaridad West Africa will launch the RECLAIM Sustainability! programme in West Africa on the 30th of July 2021. The West Africa project launch will be held in Accra, Ghana from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm GMT.
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 represented in decision making, and civil society is strengthened. We advocate for sustainable use of natural resources, decent work, fair value distribution, gender and social inclusion, and sustainable consumption.
3-5 August 2021
TrustAfrica, in partnership with the African Philanthropy Forum (APF), the Centre for African Philanthropy and Social Investments (CAPSI) at the Wits Business School, the Southern Africa Trust (SAT), the African Philanthropy Network and the Harvard University's Centre for African Studies, will be hosting the African Philanthropy Conference to be held under the theme "Surviving COVID19 – The Role of African Philanthropy" from the 3rd to 5th of August 2021. The Conference will focus on:
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.