Period: April 2021 – September 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has spread across the globe with the World Health Organisation (WHO) declaring it a global pandemic in March 2020. The first case was recorded in Africa in Egypt on 14 February 2020, and the number of cases across Africa has since reached 3, 914, 044 with 104, 382 deaths as at 3 March 2020. Following recommendations by local health experts and the WHO, at least 42 African governments have implemented partial or full lockdown measures and movement restrictions to contain the spread of the disease. In responding to the pandemic, most African governments have relied on a securitised approach with enforcement of lockdown measures by the security forces and checkpoints erected across countries and closure of borders. There have been outcries about security sector excesses and human rights violations in countries that include Kenya, South Africa and Zimbabwe during implementation of public health emergency measures or lockdowns or curfews. By June 2020, 11 people had been killed and 230,000 arrested in South Africa during implementation of lockdown measures. Over 21 people were killed by police in Kenya over the COVID 19 related lockdowns in the same period. In Zimbabwe, over 400,000 people had been arrested by mid-February 2021 over flouting lockdown measures in addition to a rise in political repression.
La mobilisation des femmes en Afrique remonte déjà à leur contestation de l’ordre colonial. Si on a pu observer l’émergence et le développement de créations de mouvements des femmes en Afrique après les indépendances, ils ont explosé à partir des années 1980-1990 à la faveur d’un vent d’ouverture à la culture des droits de l’homme, de la démocratie et de la paix. Par ailleurs, les crises socio-économiques qu’ont connu les pays de l’Afrique de l’Ouest, renforcées par l’introduction forcée des programmes d’ajustement structurel au milieu des années 80, obligèrent les femmes à sortir de la sphère privée pour investir la sphère publique. La multiplication de ces mouvements féminins a aussi coïncidé avec un contexte mondial favorable aux femmes. La décennie des Nations unies pour la femme (1975-1985) avait déjà ouvert la voie à la légitimation de l’approche sur le genre. Les conférences mondiales des Nations Unies sur les femmes, notamment celles de Nairobi en 1985 et Beijing en 1995 ont permis de faire entendre la voix des mouvements féminins africains sur la scène internationale.
TrustAfrica is excited the be a thought partner and anchoring member of this inaugural event which will profile communities and the solutions they are finding. At TrustAfrica, for over 15 years now, we’ve moved side by side with communities and community leaders, civil society and our continental political architecture working together on the most pressing challenges of our time as a continent. And if COVID-19 has reinforced anything, it is the notion that communities and proximate leaders are the ones who are best equipped to respond to the challenges in their communities. We are proud as an African philanthropic foundation to be able to meet our communities in these responses and amplify their impact with catalytic support and by bringing them into key continental and global fora such as the inaugural World Communities Forum.
Mawuse Hotor (middle) and her parents, Mary Ahotor and Gabriel, cocoa farmers in Ghana
“Engaging with and raising the participation of impacted communities has been a continuous challenge in sustainability initiatives.”
Veronika Ratri, Business Watch Indonesia (BWI)
Solidaridad, Fairfood, TrustAfrica and Business Watch Indonesia (BWI) are excited to launch our new joint programme, RECLAIM SUSTAINABILITY! This five-year programme (2021-2025) will be implemented in strategic partnership with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, within their Policy Framework Strengthening Civil Society. With this programme, we strive to foster genuine and inclusive sustainability in global value chains, where the voices of farmers, miners, workers and citizens are well represented in decision making, and civil society is strengthened.
In recent years, sustainability has become something of a buzzword in international supply chains, the media, and consumer marketing. However, this has not yet created the desired impact, for there can be no genuine sustainability when the people who produce the products consumed by us all continue living in poverty; when natural resources are not managed sustainably, civic space in many countries is limited, and the working conditions of millions of producers are abject. Farmers, miners and workers are key players in tackling major challenges such as poverty and climate change, yet their voices are often unheard. The global COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated the situation of millions of people worldwide.
“The pandemic is exaggerating existing inequalities in food supply chains. While we are all highly dependent on smallholder farmers and workers for our food, they find themselves in exceptionally vulnerable positions. We remain optimistic, as we recognise that the world is gaining momentum to actually build up better as we collectively hit rock bottom. With greatly improved awareness for sustainability from everyone involved in global supply chains – consumers, government and private sector – we can make change happen. Our joint programme taps into this momentum using smart innovations, thus heralding an era of truly inclusive supply chains, in which farmers and workers reclaim their rightful voice.”
Sander de Jong, Fairfood
While 2021 may feel like a continuation of 2020, there is something significant about marking the start of a new year. As we get into our programming rhythm in the new year, we would like to reach out to you with an update. A new year brings with it, new possibilities and new trajectories for becoming a healthier, more just and vibrant society. We invite you as partners, friends and communities to be in solidarity with communities who are working tirelessly with hope for justice, participatory democracy, peace and decent living conditions across the continent.
While we have some existential questions requiring urgent action this year, we are also privileged to be working across communities who are responding to the challenges of this time with integrity, vision and passion. And we look forward to sharing some of these stories with you throughout the year.
The problem of illicit financial flows out of Africa is a festering problem. Every year $88.6 billion is lost yet we remain burdened with such high poverty and inequality levels. Civil society must redouble their effort to fight this scourge. Be part of Relaunch of the Stop the Bleeding Campaign!
Trust Africa, the pan-African developmental foundation over the weekend continued the distribution exercise of some 30, 000 face masks to frontline healthcare providers as the on-going battle against Covid-19 pandemic intensifies across the West African country.
The foundation which is a think-tank working for the development of the African continent and its people with an expressed commitment towards the on-going fight by providing the much-needed relief to healthcare workers in Senegal as part of its contribution to the concerted efforts to curtail the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
The distribution exercise kicked off on Wednesday with donations made to healthcare works within Dakar and its suburbs then reaching regions of Thies on Thursday and Ziguinchor on Friday (January 29).
TrustAfrica Foundation and V6 CO Online Medical Supplies have collaborated to provide much-needed relief to healthcare workers in Senegal as part of their contribution to the concerted efforts to curtail the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. The two organisations are donating thirty thousand high-quality masks which are to be used for the protection of frontline healthcare providers in the fight against the pandemic.
The N95 high-quality masks, worth about seventy million CFA, are already being distributed to hospitals, health facilities and institutions working night and day against the pandemic in support of their efforts and as an expression of commitment to vulnerable communities.
Written by Ese Emerhi is the project/team lead for TrustAfrica’s Nigeria and West Africa programming
It’s a disappointing fact that after seventy years, civil society and non-profit organizations in the Global South still rely heavily on external aid from the Global North for their survival. There are justifiable arguments that this donor dependency needs to stop or change, and inherent in this argument is the negative power dynamics that this has created within the development sector that has led to competition, mistrust, lack of cooperation, and an overarching objective of donors to prolong the “problem” so they can remain in “business.” If giving aid is ultimately about solving problems and correcting injustice, why are there still so many wicked and toxic problems to solve?
Systemic and transformative social change is a long-term objective that involves many players and factors. One approach to tackling transformative change from donors has been to support new entrants into civil society by giving small grants that address immediate needs. These small local community-based organizations learning on-the-go often lack deep organizational capacity — staff, internal structure, knowledge, and access to decision-makers — and so results and impacts are often muted and focus mostly on outputs rather than sustained impact. For some donors and government actors, the small grants approach have been the response or push back to traditional aid — externally designed explanations and solutions to long-term entrenched problems — by directly involving local actors in the design phase and turning over some power to them to provide solutions to their own problems. This approach certainly has some merits, and, in some instances, it has shown very promising results by ensuring local agency and voice in addressing some of society’s challenges. But it has its limits.