Dear Partners and Friends,
We want to reach out to express our solidarity during these unprecedented times.
As a pan-African philanthropic organization founded with a commitment to strengthening African agency in addressing the continent’s most pressing challenges, TrustAfrica empathises with all our partners affected directly or indirectly by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As we watch this crisis deepening every day, we are fully aware that our partners are constantly challenged to revise and innovate business continuity strategies—as we are doing within our own organization. We also acknowledge and understand that restrictions to physical interaction and travel and the ever-increasing lockdowns, inevitably mean necessary changes must be made to standing plans and to how we work.
To this effect, TrustAfrica signed the “Call to Action on Philanthropy’s Commitment During Covid-19”. By signing this Call to Action in combination with additional internal measures, we are making the following commitments to our grantees:
- To allow our grantees to utilize current grants to respond to Covid-19 related challenges
- To make new grants as unrestricted as possible, so funds can be targeted where they are most needed.
- To relax programming timeframes
- To contribute to community-based emergency responses
- And, very importantly, to create spaces for listening to, and sharing with our partners.
In a context of weak public health systems and poor infrastructure, most citizens are understandably anxious about the capacity of African governments to deal with a full-blown crisis. We have already seen how better resourced countries in the developed world have been stretched to the brink, so the impact on the continent could have dire consequences. We therefore call for full cooperation among all stakeholders, to intensify preventive measures and care for those impacted so we can, together, avoid the worst from happening in our countries.
While physical distancing and lockdowns have been prescribed as universal solutions, as TrustAfrica we urge that responses to this crisis must be inclusive and considerate to the plight of the poor and vulnerable in our societies, especially those who are at risk for being most affected. In particular, we ask that social protection provisions for daily wage earners are prioritized, including support for informal traders who cannot survive lockdown periods lasting several weeks without alternative sources of livelihood. At TrustAfrica instead of “social distancing” we talk of physical distancing and social solidarity.
TrustAfrica expresses its solidarity with all the health professionals, volunteers, first responders and all those on the front line in the fight against COVID-19, who are risking their own lives fighting this pandemic. We are inspired by the heroic stories we hear about the vital work they are doing right now.
This crisis is an opportunity for us to reach deep and bring out the best of our humanity. As a contribution to strengthening the capacity of our countries and communities to respond, TrustAfrica has set-up the COVID-19 Africa Solidarity Fund to help raise resources to support emergency responses and community efforts to combat the coronavirus. We set up the fund with an initial contribution earmarked to support emergency response in Senegal, where we have our headquarters. We are also supporting our partners in the informal sector in Zimbabwe to lead community efforts to respond to the crisis. We intend to build on these initial efforts and expand the support.
We thank our grantees, who are helping us understand the full extent of the impact of the current crisis on their programming and operations, and we stand ready to discuss ways to adjust plans accordingly and to be more supportive at this time. We equally thank our own philanthropic partners who have extended the same understanding and support to TrustAfrica.
Finally, we see this crisis as a time for global humanity to activate resourcefulness toward new ideas and new ways of thinking and being, and to have the courage to make fundamental shifts toward a more inclusive, a more caring and a more equitable world.
We look forward to staying connected. Together we can beat Covid-19. Together we will emerge stronger!
TrustAfrica Board, Management and Staff
On the eve of International Women’s Day, 2020, we women and girls facing Discrimination based on Work and Descent (DWD) and hailing from Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America, call out for recognition, inclusion and adoption of DWD inclusive policies and implementation of all legal mechanisms for ensuring the equality, justice and dignity to all across the globe. We stand unitedly to reaffirm our faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women in the spirit of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) 1979.
Women across all societies face discrimination and violence unleashed on them by patriarchal structures. This results in inequalities in social, economic and political development as well as in their enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedom. Beijing Declaration (1995) laying the benchmark for women’s equality, development and human rights committed collectively to ensure the full enjoyment by women and the girl child of all human rights and fundamental freedoms and take effective action against violations of these rights and freedoms.
TrustAfrica is an independent Pan-African Foundation headquartered in Dakar, Senegal and strongly believes that Africans must set the agenda for the Continent’s development and take the lead in implementing it. As a Foundation that is firmly grounded in civil society, transformative governance, and equitable development, TrustAfrica’s main mandate is to secure the conditions for democracy and justice across the African continent. TrustAfrica operates from a firm belief in democratic principles, a deep commitment to social justice, and a clear understanding of the need for economic vitality.
The Kiisi Trust Fund wishes to announce the appointment of Barrister Lemea Ngbor-Abina, a member of the Trust’ Advisory Council, into the Rivers State Judiciary as a Judge by the Executive Governor of Rivers State Nyesom Wike on the 7th of January 2020.
Barrister Lemea Ngbor-Abina is a solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria with over 16 years at the Bar. As a lawyer, she has held various portfolios on several projects and has also provided legal advisory services to many local and international clients including Shell, Total, Cadbury, Starwoods Groups, Bank PHB, UBA, Access Bank amongst others.
La violence basée sur le genre (VBG) est un obstacle persistant, parmi d’autres, à l’autonomisation des femmes francophones en Afrique de l’ouest. Toutefois, bien que la VBG soit une préoccupation omniprésente en matière de droits humains pour l’Afrique de l’Ouest, il n’existe que peu de recherche sur la manière de la combattre en ciblant sa cause fondamentale que sont les normes sociales néfastes.
Dans le cadre d’un projet de deux ans de l’organisation TrustAfrica, des études exploratoires sur la prévention et l’élimination des violences basées sur le genre ont été menées dans les trois pays prioritaires que sont le Sénégal, le Burkina Faso et le Mali. L’objectif de ce projet est de s’attaquer aux causes et manifestations systémiques de la violence basée sur le genre pour promouvoir l’autonomisation des femmes francophones en Afrique de l’ouest, notamment dans les pays cibles.
Par Olivia Tchamba, Human Rights Program Officer
«Mon père m’a donné en mariage à l’âge de 12 ans, ma mère ne voulait pas mais elle n’a pas droit à la parole. Ma première grossesse a failli me coûter la vie, j’avais à peine 13 ans (…) ». C’est en pleurs que B.N., une jeune dame à Saraya dans la région de Kédougou au Sénégal partage ce récit de vie.
Cette grande souffrance qu’elle exprime ainsi, trouve écho dans le témoignage d’une autre victime à Banfora au Burkina Faso, qui dit: «A la suite du décès de mon mari, sa famille a voulu que je sois la femme d’un de ses frères, mais comme j’ai refusé, elle a saisi tous les biens de mon mari me laissant ainsi seule avec les enfants sans aucune ressources». Deux inconnus certes, mais des réalités de vie assez similaires. Les violences faites aux femmes et aux filles sont un fléau. A l’échelle mondiale les statistiques sont assez parlantes. Selon le rapport des Nations Unies, Les femmes dans le monde 2015 : des chiffres et des idées, 35 % des femmes, soit une sur trois, subissent des violences au cours de leur vie. En Afrique, la violence physique à l'égard des femmes est particulièrement élevée. Près de la moitié des pays ayant contribué à ce rapport ont signalé une prévalence supérieure à 40%. Dans le cadre d’un projet visant à contribuer à la prévention et l’élimination des violences basées sur le genre dans 3 pays cibles, notamment, le Sénégal, le Mali et le Burkina Faso, la Fondation TrustAfrica a commandité des études exploratoires dans lesdits pays. Ces recherches ont permis de mettre en exergue les formes de violences faites aux femmes mais également leur ampleur ainsi que les causes qui les soustendent. Elles contribueront également à orienter les investissements, les activités de plaidoyer et d’autres interventions de TrustAfrica dans cet espace.
In September 2019, Heads of State and Government gathered at the United Nations Headquarters in New York to follow up and comprehensively review progress in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This marked the first UN summit on the SDGs since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda in September 2015.
The mantra “leave no one behind” has been embraced by the development community and embedded in global development efforts. The importance of tackling inequalities and fighting for the inclusion and participation of marginalized people is therefore obvious. However, it must be recognized that numerous voices are still not heard in the global development processes. A particularly loud one is that of people facing discrimination based on work and descent.
Discrimination based on work and descent (DWD) is estimated to affect over 260 million people worldwide, in Africa, Asia, Europe, South America and North America. This form of discrimination which is prohibited under international human rights law is referred to by the UN as structural and hierarchical systemic discrimination. Descent based discrimination fundamentally undermines the dignity of the persons concerned; it fuels violations of the right to education and employment, undermines access to justice and all too often, catalyses sexual violence and other crimes targeted at women and girls. Although reports such as that of the UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues, presented during the Human Rights Council’s 31st Session in March 2016, limits its understanding of DWD to Caste and other analogous forms of discrimination, there are communities that have not necessarily been identified under the DWD framework that fit in the definition.
By Momodou Jaiteh, Journalist, The Gambia
A regional youth forum on governance, human rights and peace recently wounded up in Banjul, Gambian capital.
The forum which revolved around the theme “Engaging Young African Leaders in the Implementation of the 2030 and 2063 Agendas, Accelerating Positive Social Transformations for a Democratic, Prosperous, Inclusive and Peaceful Africa,” was co-organized by United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Origination (UNESCO), Trust Africa and other partners.
UNESCO and its partners acknowledged that young women and men held creativity and potential to drive, change things for themselves, their own societies and the world.
Addressing the opening ceremony, Dembo Kambi, the Chairman of Gambia’s National Youth Council said African youths could no longer continue to be liabilities for their societies. He stressed that young folks in Africa could no longer continue to live in abject poverty, hopelessness and other problems in this day and age, saying: “We want to take part in the leadership and development process of the continent so that we can live the Africa we want.”
- Your Excellency Dr Isatou Touray, VP of the Republic of The Gambia
- Honorable Ministers
- Dr Dimitri Sanga, Director of Unesco
- Ms Fatou Jagne Senghor, Regional Director of Article 19
- Dr Marema Toure, Chief of Section SHS, UNESCO/BREDA
- The presidents of AYC, GNYC and PAYNCoP (pan African youth network for a culture of peace)
- Ms Hanna Forster, Director of ACDHRS
- Colleagues of UTG
- The artists present here (Killa Ace, Master Soumi, Djeinaba…)
- Distinguished Participants
- Media reps
- Youth of Africa
I feel greatly honored to stand here today to present greetings from the organisations that partnered with Unesco in the organization of this Forum: CODESRIA, Article 19, UNHR, UNOCHA, FAS...
Engaging young African leaders in the implementation of the 2030 and 2063 agendas, Accelerating positive social transformations for a democratic, prosperous, inclusive and peaceful Africa
Dakar on October 21, 2019- UNESCO Multisectoral Regional Office for West-Africa Sahel, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Trust-Africa, CODESRIA, ARTICLE 19, the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, the NGO women Africa solidarity through its Pan-African Centre for Gender, Peace and Development (FASPAC), the Gambian National Commission for UNESCO (NATCOM-Gambie) are co-organizing with the Pan-African Youth Organizations (PAYNCOP – AYC – AAPI), the third African regional youth forum scheduled to take place in Banjul (Forum-Banjul+3), in close collaboration with the Gambian authorities.
This prestigious African youth consultation, which is in line with the organizers' efforts to promote respect for political commitment, democracy, governance, human rights and guaranteed freedoms; social cohesion, conflict prevention, peace and security, will bring together young leaders from all over Africa from 28 to 30 October 2019 in Banjul to discuss the role of African youth in peace building and conflict resolution.