On Wednesday, June 27th, 2018 the Kiisi Trust Fund hosted the first ever Clean Air Summit in Port Harcourt, Rivers State in partnership with Environmental Rights Action, Centre for Human Rights and Development, Suburbia 180 Foundation, and Citizens Information and Development Initiative, with the aim of creating a template for a systematic, coordinated, result oriented and science-based approach to dealing with the black soot air pollution in Rivers state. Since 2016, residents of Port Harcourt, Eleme and other adjoining towns and villages in Rivers State, Nigeria have observed an increase in the daily blanketing of the atmosphere of an oily soot compound, causing serious source of concern to the 5 million people who reside in the state.
Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association (BVTA) is implementing a Vendors Voices Project that is creating opportunities for policy engagement between Bulawayo City Council and informal traders. The project is funded by Trust Africa.
TrustAfrica is currently hosting a ‘Meeting on Enhancing convergence of the media and civil society in collaborative efforts towards combatting Illicit Financial Flows from Africa’, taking place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 28th and 29th June 2018, and in collaboration with Thomson Reuters Foundation (TRF) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).
Zimbabwe Alliance recently started a public polling initiative dubbed Voices of Zimbabwe. The initiative seeks to continuously and empirically gauge Citizens’ mood of a consistent pool of respondents via WhatsApp from which we develop nice infographics for publicizing online. The polling results are meant to help inform policy and programming in Zimbabwe.
Meet Vision Africa: CatalyzingCitizensAgency #lamTheCitizen
Planting bananas in potholes. This symbolic and comic campaign by Vision Africa made a splash not only on Twitter, but in the city of Kadoma as well - the potholes were filled the very same day by city officials. Vision Africa is counting on this type of innovation to encourage young people in Kadoma City to get involved in local governance and be a part of improving their communities. Vision Africa’s latest program #IamTheCitizen is taking a step further to equip “youth….[to] be a part of the solution not the problem” Program Coordinator, Ellaine Manyere said in a local story in the Statesman Zimbabwe newspaper. “It is high time we work as the youth to build the nation we want”. This kind of innovation, in parternship with ZimbabweAlliance, will not only get young people registering to vote, but voting, running for public office and becoming the co-creators of solutions to their communities’ challenges.
Meet Savanna Trust: Transforming Communities Through the Arts
- What is the role of citizens in ensuring good governance?
- How do we respond to the human rights violations, particularly abductions and harassment of human rights defenders and citizens in our communities?
- How do citizens speak to the abuse of state power and resources by politicians?
Savanna Trust’s flagship play “Liberation” is leaving an important footprint on citizen dialogue around issues relating to human rights, governance and democratic participation in Zimbabwe. These are just a few of the discussions happening post performances. The theatrical backdrop invites critical feedback from audience members on these national processes and perspectives on how they can play out in their local communities.
Meet Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association (BVTA)
In 2016 BVTA trained over 600 vendors and informal traders on economic and social rights. BVTA has a membership of over 2000 informal traders in 29 Bulawayo metropolitan wards. In parternship with ZimbabweAlliance, BVTA has launched the Vendors’ Voices Project (VVP) to innovatively empower informal traders to effectively speak truth to power through existing informal social infrastructure including Stokvels, vendors investment clubs, house meetings, Community-Based Advocacy Teams (CoMBAT) to hold City Council accountable in 4 wards across Bulawayo. BVTA recently held its an Onsite Digital Age Vendors (ODAV) training, equipping over 50 vendors in digital literacy including citizen and advocacy journalism. VISET and BVTA are also coordinating and working together to strengthen the voice of the informal sector across the country.
Meet National Association of Youth Organisations (NAYO)
The 2017-2018 Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) exercise in Zimbabwe has revealed an increase from 2013 registration figures of youth registration to 70% (or 3 612 039 out of the total 5 185 072) registered between 20 and 44 years. Youth participation is going to be a determinant factor in the upcoming elections, and even more critical post-elections in shaping governance as young people seek to reclaim leadership at both the level of structure and policy in Zimbabwe.
Meet Vendors Initiative for Socio-Economic Transformation (VISET)
At Independence in 1980, Zimbabwe inherited a relatively small informal economy which accounted for less than 10% of the labor force. In 2017, Afrobarometer reported that only 26% of youth between 18 and 35 described themselves as in full-time employment. Voices of Zimbabwe (VoZ) recent poll of vendors the respondents indicated a lack of formal jobs as the recourse people have to make a living (see VoZ economic series report: www.voicesofzimbabwe.net, @Voices_ZW).
Africa loses an estimated $60 billion every year through Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs). Defined by the Global Financial Integrity as “money that is illegally earned or transferred”, this enormous hemorrhage of financial resources from the continent severely undermines Africa’s capacity for domestic resource mobilization (DRM) leaving African countries with no resources to finance development. The majority of these IFFs originate from tax evasion and tax avoidance practices perpetrated by multi-national corporations (MNCs), particularly those involved in the extractive sector. In the last 3 decades cumulative losses from the continent amount to over $1 trillion. Thus, effectively IFFs deprive countries of public revenues that could be used to address poverty and inequality.