While COVID-19 has wreaked havoc across the globe, it’s also illuminated some fundamental truths that our societies need to: learn from - embrace - and amplify. The aid narrative around communities on our continent has underestimated and even undermined the inherent capacities of these very same to develop the solutions to the challenges they face. This challenging season we find ourselves in has highlighted the stories of community solutions that have existed for years and often gone unacknowledged.
At TrustAfrica we are privileged to focus on supporting, promoting, and advancing African agency through African actors to respond to the most pressing challenges facing our communities. And for us this has meant solidarity with the communities most affected by these challenges and learning from their paths in responding to these to inform how best we can accompany processes underway. In this sense, we’ve always considered ourselves catalytic partners – from thinking through the big questions with civil society leaders, community leaders, activists, academics, and progressive public sector actors; to channeling catalytic resources to solutions developed by communities affected by issues ranging from illicit financial flows, mining affected communities, participation of smallholder farmers in agricultural policy, pro-democracy social movements and more.
And in all these processes, our definition of catalytic goes beyond simply giving of resources and voice to communities.
Because voice is not something that can be given – it needs space to be heard, and agency needs space to be demonstrated.
Centre for Strategic Philanthropy at the Cambridge Judge Business School based at the University of Cambridge will host a seminar titled #ShiftThePower – Revolutionising Transparency in the Third Sector: Driving Better Decisions, Legitimacy and Goodwill on the 7th of October 2021 from 11:00 – 12:30 BST). This is part of an online series deconstructing the components of imbalanced power structures between Global North and Global South philanthropy actors, better understanding how change can come about and enabling philanthropy practitioners to define the nature of the change required for the long-term institutionalisation of COVID-19-induced changes in best practice. The first two session recordings are available here. The registration link for the event can be found here.
The FEMNET 2021 African Feminist Macroeconomic Academy (AFMA) will be held in partnership with TrustAfrica from 15-19 November in Dakar, Senegal.
This year’s academy will be held under the theme: “Promoting a Feminist Approach to Delivery and Financing of Public Services in Africa”. Participants invited to apply will be African feminist activists and movement leaders drawn from a range of sub- regions, organisations, movements and formations that are pushing for women’s economic justice and working in various sectors such as agriculture, informal trade, natural resource extraction, sexual reproductive rights, violence against women, economic justice, trade unions, women with disability, young women among others. Please find the call for applications here. The deadline to apply by is 30 September 2021.
Discrimination based on Work, Descent and Slavery has just been reviewed by experts from different countries, at the invitation of TrustAfrica, initiator of a study involving Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso and Mauritania. The review on webinar, which took place over a period of two days from 13 to 14 September 2021, was coordinated from TrustAfrica’s headquarters in Dakar. The results of the surveys revealed the persistent presence of slavery-like practices as well as the worst forms of inhuman treatment in all the target countries. From Mauritania to Mali and from Niger to Burkina Faso, communities have been formed for generations on considerations which are discriminatory or dominant relationships based on ancestry.
Halima Mahomed is an independent researcher and consultant focusing on focusing on knowledge building, advocacy and support to strengthen the narratives, practice and impact of philanthropy in Africa. She is an Associate Researcher at CAPSI and serves as a member of the PSJP management team, Alliance Magazine Editorial Board, and ICNL Advisory Council. Halima has worked for and with a range of African and international philanthropic and philanthropy support organizations and written extensively on philanthropy, with a strong focus on linking philanthropy to local agency and power. Halima holds a Masters in Development Studies from the University of Witwatersrand.
If you have been in the philanthropy sector for any period of time, then Halima is not a new name. Even for us at TrustAfrica, we are welcoming her back, this time in a new capacity as a senior fellow. Halima Mahomed is a well-known independent researcher and consultant focusing on knowledge building, advocacy and support to strengthen the narratives, practice and impact of philanthropy in Africa. She is an Associate Researcher at CAPSI and serves as a member of the PSJP management team, Alliance Magazine Editorial Board, and ICNL Advisory Council. Halima has worked for and with a range of African and international philanthropic and philanthropy support organizations and written extensively on philanthropy, with a strong focus on linking philanthropy to local agency and power. We’ve worked closely in the past with Halima on some of our work with social movements, which is another critical area of inquiry for Ms. Mahomed. Halima holds a Masters in Development Studies from the University of Witwatersrand. We are delighted to welcome Halima back to the TrustAfrica family!
TrustAfrica, UNESCO and other stakeholders are organizing a High-Level Forum on African Humanities. Scheduled for 28- 30 September 2021 in Bamako, Mali, the African Humanities Forum will bring together African intellectuals to discuss the future of Humanities in Africa. The main focus will be on African languages and the importance of their use. The Forum will be followed immediately by the Youth Forum, which will be held from 1-3 October 2021. This Youth Forum will focus on the literacy of futures. It is sequel to an earlier one held in Banjul in 2019, in which TrustAfrica was fully involved.
TrustAfrica presents the online “Pan Africanism, Feminism, Youth and the Arts: Post-COVID Transition and The Future We Want” Round Table at the 3rd Kwame Nkrumah Pan-African Intellectual and Cultural Festival 15-24 September 2021.
In partnership with the Action for World of Solidarity (ASW), the African Agency for the Fight against Discrimination Based on Work and Descent and Slavery and Amnesty International, TrustAfrica is pleased to invite you to a Workshop on restitution of studies on Discrimination Based on Descent and Slavery in Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania and Niger. This restitution will take place on 13 and 14 September 2021.
As a member of TrustAfrica’s Board of Directors, we are pleased to congratulate Dr. Tawanda Mutasah on as his appointment as the new Vice President of Oxfam America’s for Global Partnership and Impact from September 2021. All the team, board and partners of TrustAfrica wish Dr. Mutasah the best of luck in continuing the good work!
If you don’t already know Dr. Mutasah let us share a bit about him and why he has been a vital member of the TrustAfrica board. Tawanda is a lawyer and human rights advocate with over 25 years of experience in international non-profit sector. He was Senior Director for Law and Policy at the Amnesty International Secretariat where he led the organization’s work on climate justice, gender justice, and disability rights. He was also formerly Chair of their Africa Advisory Board, and Executive Director of the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa before taking up the position of Global Director of Programs. He also established the Southern Africa Resource Watch, which researches and advocates on fair economies and protection of human rights in the extractive industries sector.