As the Covid-19 pandemic unfolds, it has exposed inequalities and laid bare the inequities and injustices that threaten people’s well-being, safety, and lives. Its impact is experienced differently within and across communities, and as such State responses and relief efforts must consider specific needs of different groups. Clearly, to successfully address the various concerns posed by the pandemic, it is essential to ensure national responses that leave no one behind.
It is hard to believe 5 months have passed since the world was turned upside down. As the impact of COVID-19 continues to rage across the world, we at TrustAfrica continue to find ways to respond. In April 2020, we launched a COVID-19 Africa Solidarity Fund to support emergency responses across Africa in the face of this new virus. Through the catalytic support of this fund we have contributed to the protection of the health of informal sector workers in Zimbabwe, the protection of women against GBV during nationwide lockdowns in West Africa, and provided relief funds for local communities to develop contextually relevant responses such as collective purchasing of goods, community gardens and more. Please read more about this support from TrustAfrica’s Solidarity Fund in this newsletter.
COVID-19 has reminded us that the fight against poverty and marginalization must be taken up with renewed vigour in Africa and globally. As a pan-African organization that seeks to strengthen African initiatives which address the most difficult challenges confronting the continent, TrustAfrica is working closely with the Southern Africa Trust and African Philanthropy Network (APN) to provide much-needed support to marginalized communities through the Community Immunity Initiative. These three pan-African organizations are working in close synergy to 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 support to the most affected people in society. In this regard, the eminent international music star, Baaba Maal, was recently designated as the Voice of Marginalized People in Africa in view of his reputation and past experiences as a social crusader who uses his music to give voice to marginalized people/give voice to marginalized people.
TrustAfrica is proud to be part of a civil-society funder collaborative called ZimbabweAlliance with solidarity partners that have included Wallace Global Foundation, Schooner Foundation, and Humanity United over the past 10 years. Through ZimbabweAlliance we have supported critical efforts in Zimbabwe, including support through constitutional expert Alex Magaisa to the historic Constitution development process which culminated in a new Constitution in 2013; seed funding to nascent movements which have grown into powerhouses such as Magamba Network and NAYO who are now anchor partners in Accountability Lab Zimbabwe; and most recently support to the Citizens’ Manifesto. Citizens’ Manifesto has become a vibrant convergence platform for progressive citizens, local community collectives, civil society, and activists in pursuit of a Better a Zimbabwe For All.
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.