Citizens’ mobilizations in several African countries, including Burkina Faso, Senegal, Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Congo Brazzaville, and Madagascar to name a few, have revolutionized democratic processes. These social movements are often born on the eve of elections in opposition to recalcitrant incumbents and the will of certain elites to perpetuate themselves in power.
Fundamental human rights are reported to have diminished in almost two-thirds of the 113 countries surveyed for the World Justice Project Rule of Law Index. This backlash against human rights coupled with a global trend of closing civic spaces creates serious challenges for funders and their grantees. In 2015, 12% of global human rights funding was for work to benefit Sub-Saharan Africa, and included grants from seven Africa-based funders.
This session will discuss a shift towards the more multi-stakeholder end of the philanthropy spectrum, emphasizing participatory philanthropic models. Philanthropy as:
Zimbabwe, Mali, Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of the Congo
On 22 October 2018, TrustAfrica hosted a panel discussion on "Recent and Prospective Elections in Africa: Zimbabwe, Mali, Cameroon, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo". The panel was held in Dakar, Senegal, on the eve of TrustAfrica's board meeting and, as explained by TrustAfrica Executive Director, Ebrima Sall, was meant to give an opportunity to the board members, to have a conversation with our partners and the general public on some of the key issues related to democratic governance and equitable economic transformation in Africa. In her introductory remarks, Ms. Aicha Ba Diallo, board chair of TrustAfrica, said the panel was an opportunity to look back on recent elections and draw lessons to apply to future elections.
Presidential elections continue to present important tests of democratic consolidation in Africa, particularly in countries emerging from authoritarian rule or conflict. Despite the controversies and contestations that precede or follow elections, peaceful transitions of power in countries like Sierra Leone, Liberia, The Gambia and Burkina Faso have strengthened confidence in the transformative power of electoral contests and the strength of popular participation. Civil society organisations and social movements are playing increasingly important roles not only in monitoring elections (situation rooms and supporting voter participation) but also in keeping the entire electoral process transparent and in compliance with international standards as well as with the constitutions and electoral codes of the countries concerned.
Recent elections in Zimbabwe and Mali witnessed strong performance of opposition candidates, leading to a historic run-off in Mali and a 50/43 split vote in Zimbabwe between ruling ZANU-PF and opposition MDC. The August 2018 elections in Zimbabwe heralded a new post-Mugabe era, but in many ways reinforced the status quo of ZANU-PF dominance. In Mali, July 2018 elections witnessed an unprecedented run-off between the top two candidates but ultimately resulted in the victory of the incumbent. In both cases, opposition forces represented viable threats but ultimately failed to achieve electoral victory. The Cameroonian elections of October 2018 also witnessed the resurgence of strong opposition candidates, riding the momentum of social malaise surrounding the 2-years of civil unrest in the anglophone regions of the country. The long awaited elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo present an assortment of viable candidates, especially in the absence of incumbent Joseph Kabila. Participation trends vary across these countries and provide helpful indicators for gauging levels of citizen engagement and political consciousness. These recent tests of African democracies will be discussed and analyzed with a view to informing TrustAfrica’s programming in support of civic participation.
Objectives of the discussion:
- Share reflections and insights on the implications of recent and prospective elections
- Identify priority indicators for levels of democratic consolidation, and priority actions for citizens movements and institutions supporting free, transparent, peaceful, and fair electoral processes
- Raise visibility of the threats and opportunities presented by future elections
Download the Agenda here.
Click here to view the photos of the meeting on Facebook.
L’Observatoire Ivoirien des Droits de l’Homme (OIDH) ouvre une causerie-débat sur l’affaire le Procureur c. Laurent Gbagbo et Charles Blé Goudé le 11 octobre 2018 à Abidjan.
Les 1 et 2 octobre ont marqué la reprise du procès le Procureur c. Laurent Gbagbo et Charles Blé Goudé à la Cour Pénale Internationale (CPI). Suspendue à la demande des avocats des accusés, l’audience reprend le 12 novembre2018.
Olivia Tchamba is a human rights advocate with deep experience of the African Human Rights system, having worked with the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. Over the years she was able to build strong, authentic partnerships and helped strengthen capacities of NGOs over the continent on the use of regional mechanisms for human rights protection and promotion.
Before joining TrustAfrica, she led and contributed to extensive research on various human rights areas including rule of law and democracy and protection of human rights defenders at risk. She was also instrumental in designing and implementing advocacy and campaign strategies, to achieve change, with organisations such as Amnesty International, Front Line Defenders and CIVICUS. She holds a Master degree in Human Rights and Humanitarian Action from the Catholic University of Central Africa in Cameroon. She is fluent in both English and French.
Food systems are a global and immediate priority in the context of climate change, health and resilience. This 3-day conference focuses on the future of food systems in Africa. The conference will explore the complexity, diversity and nutritional value of African food systems and launch an action plan and declaration for change for better food systems geared towards the general public and policymaking bodies including the African Union and the Regional Economic Communities. The first two days will focus on five thematic areas. On the third day, the participants will join with the participants of an organic agriculture conference which follows the food systems event. The combined participants on the third day will number between 400 – 500.
By Amandine Rushenguziminega
The first edition of the Université Populaire de l’Engagement Citoyen (Popular University of Citizens’ Engagement) was launched in Dakar, in July 2018, with the aim of bringing together social movements from the continent to reflect on Africa’s pressing challenges. Discussions turned around the legacy of Pan-Africanism, the political and economic challenges that Africa is currently facing and the need of greater solidarity between citizens. An official continental platform called “Afrikki Platform” has been launched at the end of the one-week event in order to coordinate the different social movements and be the focal point to contact when activists are in danger in order to create chains of solidarity and reactions.