Looking back, Looking ahead: African Philanthropy for Socio-Economic and Political Justice in the 21st Century
As we mark TrustAfrica’s 10 years anniversary we are also unveiling the organization’s new strategy for 2016 – 2020. Our goal under the new strategy is to advance political economic and social justice in Africa by tackling a number of priority thematic issues.
A lot has changed in the African political, economic and social context since 10 years ago. While the continent has made signifcant progress in reducing the overall level of violent conflict, the resurgence of violence in countries like Burundi, Central Africa Republic and South Sudan point to continuing fragility and the need to invest in building enduring peace. Terrorism and violent extremism have also emerged as a major challenge across the Sahel region, and especially in places like Nigeria, Kenya, Somalia, and Libya. To address this challenge, TrustAfrica works to advance local accountabilty mechanisms to combat the culture of impunity which is at the root of cyclical violence. We are encouraged by the progress made at the continental level to advance post-conflict accountability mechanisms through the African Transitiional Justice Policy Framework and expanded mandate of the African Court on Humans and Peoples’ Rights. While tremendous progress has been made in reversing the scourge of HIV/AIDS across the continent, the devastation from the recent Ebola epidemic exposed the weakness of health systems and the continent’s poor capacity to respond to such emergencies.
On the economic development front, the “hopeless continent” narrative has been replaced with a focus on “Africa rising”. While significantly more optimistic, this narrative at times over simplifies Africa’s trajectory and overlooks the deep contradictions hidden beneath rising GDP. The fruits of economic growth have largely been concentrated in the hands of a few local and international corporate and political elites resulting in growing inequality. Tax dodging and illicit financial flows by multinational corporations have also limited benefits accruing to African economies. In many instances growth, especially from the extractive sector, has come at the expense of the environment with serious consequences for local communities.
These fundamental issues which found expression in the African Union’s Agenda 2063, the African Mining Vision, the African Union’s Transitional Justice Policy Framework as well as the Sustainable Development Goals will be a major focus for the next phase of TrustAfrica’s programming.