Word Cloud from TrustAfrica Programs Meeting in September: What is Your 1 Word Prayer for TrustAfrica?
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We’re excited to share this latest edition of our newsletter with you, particularly because we’ve been privileged to be part of so many important conversations about Africa’s development and the possibilities for transformative participation available to citizens, public and private leaders and academics. Read more to find out what interesting conversations we’ve been a part of around Democracy and Governance, Equitable Development and African Philanthropy. To start you off we have as our center piece in this edition remarks delivered by our Learning Manager, Ms. Tendisai Chigwedere during the 2nd African Philanthropy Conference from 3-5 August 2021.
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We welcome the upcoming legislative proposal by the European Commission for a Sustainable Corporate Governance directive, including mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence (HREDD).
To effectively stop human rights violations and negative environmental impacts in global supply chains, EU policymakers should ensure the upcoming legislation leads to positive impacts for rightsholders and improves the situation and the livelihoods of smallholders. It is key that the HREDD directive addresses the root causes of adverse impacts on human rights and the environment such as persistent poverty among smallholders.
Ogo Chukwudi is receiving the award from the Chairman Board of Directors Paradigm Leadership Support Initiative, Arc. (Rev) Polycarp Gbaja on behalf of TrustAfrica.
On the 1st of October 2021, TrustAfrica received an award in recognition of their effort to support the efficacy of public audit in Nigeria from a grantee partner - Paradigm Leadership Support Initiative (PLSI) during the organization's 5th anniversary and the launch of "Achieving Accountability and Development in Nigeria" report. TrustAfrica was one of the first organizations to support the vision of PLSI at the early stage by providing a grant to the organization. Congratulations to PLSI for five years of impact in the financial transparency space in Nigeria, and TrustAfrica is happy to have played a role in the five-year journey of PLSI.
Our African philanthropy program seeks to strengthen the recognition, practice and strategic impact of giving in Africa. We recognize that solidarity and the culture of giving to help others is embedded in many African cultures and traditions as reflected in notions such as Ubuntu (I am because you are). We believe in philanthropy that “shifts the power”, endowing communities with voice and agency. Through our African philanthropy program, we work to build knowledge on African giving and contribute towards building a movement to nurture African giving and African resources towards addressing strategic challenges confronting the continent.
TrustAfrica works to advance equitable economic development in Africa. Our work seeks to address economic injustices at national and global levels. To this end, we advocate for the reform of national, regional, and global economic institutions, rules, policies, and practices to ensure that the continent’s wealth benefits African citizens equitably and Africa’s resources are managed in a sustainable manner. Numerous injustices characterise the current global economic architecture including trade relations that disadvantage African countries; restricted space for African countries to independently set their own development priorities and make choices on economic policies; imposition of development models that continue to undermine industrialization and structural economic transformation; contracts and licensing regimes, especially in the natural resources sector that tend to benefit foreign multi-national corporations at the expense of African countries; and a global financial governance architecture that promotes net outflow of capital (both illicit and licit) from Africa to the developed world. As part of the post Covid-19 transition, our work advocates for building forward better – focusing on the equitable and sustainable utilization of the continent’s natural resources and biodiversity, including land and water for the continent’s economic and social transformation.
A TrustAfrica mission visited Bamako, Mali on 2, 3 and 4 October 2021 to meet with the leaders of the Temedt Association on the situation of victims of discrimination based on descent and slavery. TrustAfrica and Temedt after working sessions went to the Children's City in Bamako where more than 131 people who have been unjustly displaced from their village, Baghamabougou, reside. Most of these displaced persons are affected by modern slavery practices in their local communities. They have been driven away from their villages because they refused to submit to the abusive demands of their masters. According to human rights activists, thousands of people have been driven from their villages in the Khaye region as a result of slavery.
One of the reasons we prioritize democracy and governance as one of our three pillars at TrustAfrica is the ongoing need to consolidate the gains of democracy on the continent. The last few years have witnessed a resurgence in coup d’états which had receded on the African landscape. Mali saw two coups in quick succession (2020 and 2021), before Guinea’s President Alpha Condé was deposed by the army earlier this month. In this moment in history, we are deeply concerned by the destabilization caused by these unconstitutional changes of government, the backseat approach adopted by our regional governance architecture and what these intimate about the growing role of militaries in our democracies. We are also asking what the key ingredients are to consolidate and stabilize the pan-African democratic project.
Our programs Director, Briggs Bomba moderated a session at the 7th East African Philanthropy Conference on 8 September 2021, in an exciting session which had a strong clarion call for big business, philanthropy, and Pan-Africans at large to move “beyond our egos, logos & silos to converge for impact in Africa!” This was the call made by Arif Neky, Senior Advisor for UN Strategic Partnerships and Coordinator of the SDG Partnership Platform (SDGPP) as part of the Ensuring Relevance Session under the theme: “Stretching the Band, Failing Forward for Philanthropy to SOAR.” The calls for philanthropy to assume the lead beyond emergencies and towards social development given its catalytic capability was echoed throughout the three-day Conference. The energy around private sector finding its advocacy role through philanthropy was electric and indicative of the possibilities for more coherent African-financed development and accountability.
Ebrima Sall, Executive Director, TrustAfrica
The specter of unconstitutional takeover of power seems to be haunting Africa again. In the past 18 months or so, there have been four military coups (one in Sudan, two in Mali and one in Guinea), the killing of a sitting head of state in a battle against armed rebels (in Chad), and an attempt to overthrow the transition government in Sudan. The military takeovers in Sudan and Mali followed long periods of mass protests, a little bit like what happened in Egypt ten years ago. But military takeovers are just that: the military being in control of the state, invariably translating into restrictions of basic freedoms and possibilities of democratic expression.
The political crises in Libya and Central African Republic are far from being resolved. In several other countries, the heads of state have amended the constitutions so as to be able to run for a third or fourth term of office, a practice that has also been called a form of coup d’Etat.
TrustAfrica, in conjunction with UNESCO and CODESRIA, has successfully organized a Training Workshop on Future Literacies in Africa. The workshop, held in Bamako, Mali, on 1 and 2 October 2021, was mainly to prepare young people from the continent to better understand the present and anticipate the future. Participants were drawn from ten African countries. The young people who participated in this training said they were ready to apply the knowledge acquired and share it with their colleagues who were not present at the meeting. Meanwhile, the three organizations, who collaborated to organize the training workshop, have reiterated their willingness to continue to support young Africans in the struggle for the emergence of a peaceful, just and egalitarian continent where individual and collective freedoms are respected.