The African continent, geographical diversity notwithstanding, faces dire developmental challenges. The continent contains 39 of the countries with the highest poverty rates. Related, and as a consequence, the rights of the vast majority of those living on the continent are systematically violated. This is particularly true for specific groups. At the same time, numerous opportunities are present, including the ‘demographic bulge’, rich natural resources, a potentially large common market, movement towards expanding domestic industries, and untapped human potential.
The present position is, of course, the product of hundreds of years of systematic dispossession, exploitation, and colonialism. However, it is also the consequence of the path taken – imposed or chosen – of post-colonial African countries. In particular, the imposition of structural adjustment programmes, Washington Consensus and Post-Washington Consensus policies, and other more recent forms of neoliberal ‘reforms’.
These economic policies have been implemented, and justified, on the basis of certain economic approaches – what we term here “economic orthodoxies”. This has occurred together with the systematic marginalisation of progressively-minded economists and policy makers in universities, governments and development projects since the 1980s.
Victims of international crimes are at the core of the fight against impunity for international crimes such as genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. The ICC was the first international accountability mechanism to make room for the direct participation of victims in legal proceedings. Despite this progress, the visibility and voices of victims are continuously muzzled at national, regional and international level, owing to legal, technical and financial hurdles. We now increasingly see victims playing a diminutive role in the quest for accountability.
In partnership with the Inclusive Project, Asia Dalit Right Forum, UNESCO, Amnesty International and in collaboration with Global Call Against Poverty, IDSN, IMADAR and CIVICUS, TrustAfrica organized an international conference on the theme: “Global Partnership and Joint Actions in Addressing, Discrimination based on Work and Descent, Untouchability, Contemporary Forms of Slavery and Analogous Forms of Discrimination”. At the end of this Conference held in Dakar, Senegal, from 9 to 11 April 2019, an African Network to Combat Discrimination Based on Work, Descent, Slavery and Socio-Cultural beliefs was established. The Network includes about twenty human rights organizations and associations of victims. Members of the Network have undertaken to work in solidarity with all stakeholders and to advocate with organizations pursuing similar objectives to join the Network.
By Bethule Nyamambi
TrustAfrica, through its Agriculture Advocacy Programme, convened partners and other stakeholders in a policy and strategy development dialogue: “Agency and Accountability: Securing Citizens’ Voices and Participation in Africa’s Agriculture Development” from 2 to 3 April 2019 in Kigali, Rwanda. The two-day convening brought together participants from across the continent, including regional, strategic partners, smallholder farmer organisations, civil society, and government representatives.
TrustAfrica is pleased to invite you to a conference on the theme: Culture and Identity: Social Movements in Africa and the Legacy of Nelson Mandela and Sheikh Anta Diop. The conference will be held on July 29, 2019 from 3:00 pm to 5:30 pm at TrustAfrica's offices in Dakar,Senegal.
Organized to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela and Cheikh Anta Diop, this activity is in line with our strategy to support African social movements in their struggles for the advancement of peace and democracy, which are the prerequisites for the sustainable development of Africa and its people.
Project Title: FOSTERING LEGISLATIVE ACCOUNTABILITY AND INCLUSIVE REPRESENTATION IN OGONILAND, RIVERS STATE, NIGERIA
Grantee-Partner: Citizens Trust Advocacy and Development Center (CITADEC)
By Sambari Lemene and Dimkpa Vivian, Kiisi Trust Communications & Research Interns
One problem most developing countries face is lack of proper accountability of elected officials. Accountability is an elusive concept, but understanding where it originates can help citizens find ways to hold their governments accountable. Kiisi Trust, a donor-advised-fund managed by TrustAfrica, uses an all-inclusive participatory method when funding projects that seek to give voice to marginalized citizens. Through its Governance, Voice and Accountability thematic funding area, the Trust supports citizens and communities, particularly people from vulnerable or excluded groups, to become empowered to make choices about their own development – and to act on these choices. The Trust engages with communities, governments, businesses and other critical players to foster a culture of active citizenship.