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This report is the first of its kind to focus exclusively on the impact of COVID-19 on African CSOs. It is based on a survey conducted by @AfricanNGOs and EPIC-Africa between 29 April and 15 May 2020.The objectives of the survey were four-fold:Assess the negative impact of the pandemic on the funding and operations of CSOsUnderstand how CSOs are coping and responding to these challengesHighlight CSOs' involvement in national responses to the pandemicIdentify opportunities emerging from the crisis and the lessons learnedThe report presents a snapshot of the impact of COVID-19 on African CSOs, as well as the many ways that they are responding to the crisis while safeguarding their organizations. It also highlights opportunities that emerged from the crisis and crucial challenges which need to be addressed in support of the recovery and sustainability of African CSOs.This report fills a critical knowledge gap and offers funders, governments, the private sector and other key stakeholders data-based evidence to inform their engagement with African CSOs, both during and after the pandemic.It also provides CSOs with a tool to help strengthen solidarity and inform advocacy for greater recognition and support for the sector.
Mastercard Foundation, together with a group of strategic partners, has initiated a research project to look at the role of secondary education in preparing African youth for the future of work, with emphasis on ensuring youth acquire the skills, knowledge, and competencies necessary to succeed in a dynamic and globalized labour market.Significant challenges remain in access, quality, and relevance of secondary education in Africa. Given the transformative potential of the growing youth population, the shifts in African labour markets, and the evolving technology and its impact on nature of work — fundamental changes in secondary education are needed to equip young people to be successful in work and in life. Only a small fraction of students in Africa complete university level studies, and with secondary school becoming more accessible, it will increasingly become the main bridge to work for most youth.Rethinking and reforming secondary education, including what young people learn andhow they learn it, is necessary to make education relevant for youth employment orentrepreneurship in a dynamic and globalized labour market.
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation;
While the world has made huge economic gains over the past 50 years, this progress has been highly uneven. This is particularly acute in the agriculture sector, with many of the 500 million smallholder farmers around the world living on meager incomes and facing high levels of economic insecurity.Despite some recent innovations and advances in including smallholders as market players, there have been few cases where truly widespread, market-level, transformative change towards inclusion has been achieved.In this report, we explore the role of different kinds of capital in bending the arc of agricultural market development towards inclusive growth. We pay particular attention to how impact-focused players deploying capital that is flexible in terms of risk-return expectations can best deploy it in order to catalyze large-scale transformations towards inclusion.
West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI);
The effective implementation of WACSI's interventions is dependent on civil society's contributions and feedback on the Institute's work in promoting an open, safe and prosperous West Africa. WACSI's interventions are guided and inspired by the critical voices from key stakeholders and engagement by different communities and groups across West Africa. At WACSI, we are conscious that civic space affects everything civil society does and everything civil society does affects civic space. A safe, open, free and enabling space for all to form and voice opinions, debate, be heard and peacefully protest, is also an essential prerequisite for achieving the ECOWAS Vision 2020. Civic freedoms including the freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly, safe environments and effective participation are therefore essential. This Op-Ed critically assesses the civic space environment in 2019, predictions for 2020 and issues that need more introspection and collective action.
West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI);
Social accountability is an approach towards building accountability that relies on civic engagement in which citizens participate directly or indirectly in demanding accountability from service providers and public officials. It usually combines information on rights and service delivery with collective action for change. It has become a tool for direct engagement with service providers to ensure that citizens get adequate services or adequate explanation when those services are not available. When social accountability mechanisms are weak, the context becomes more challenging for communities or individual citizens to play a powerful role. Also, social accountability is fundamentally and ultimately a question of power as it requires both social and political pressure to ensure that duty bearers are kept on their toes. This piece will therefore explore the tools and approaches that some African social movements used to effectively drive the social accountability agenda. The tools we are exploring here are respectively social media and creative arts, while the approaches will be based on their ways of mobilising and organising. We conclude by making some recommendations for donors, government, citizens and other stakeholders.
China Africa Research Initiative, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University;
The African continent's threat spectrum compasses all the risks, from criminal to political violence,that public and private Chinese companies are going toexperience throughout the Belt & Road Initiative. From Libya to South Sudan, China has witnessed how severely limitingthe sole reliance on economic development to promotesecurity and sustainable development can be. As such,security is an increasingly important priority, especially for Chinese companies operating in politically volatile areas. Compared to their American or Russian peers, Chinese private security companies (PSCs) are latecomers to the African security sector and their services are unrelated to the provision of military services or the delivery of military equipment. At present, China's PSCs are still evolving from local security enterprises operating in low risk environments in Mainland China into international companies able to maneuver abroad in high-risk areas. Africa is the litmus test for Chinese PSCs, with tasks including assets protection from riots, theft, or terrorism to maritime anti-piracy missions.Therefore, local best practices and lessons that Beijing cane xtract from Cape Town to Cairo are not only of paramount importance for the Chinese African cooperation mechanism but also for a broader collaboration with local and international stakeholders.
West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI);
The phrase 'back to the basics' is a stark reminder of the importance of enhancing capacity. Capacity strengthening is the basic foundational pillar that ensures the viability of an organisation. Interestingly, we often must be reminded of the importance of building our organisation's capacity.Just like in the business sphere, CSOs are formed with the intention of operating successfully and sustainably. The only difference is that the formation of CSOs is often driven by a social need or a community problem instead of a profit motive. Therefore, capacity development is essential to ensure that CSOs do not only survive but also thrive.
SAIS China-Africa Research Initiative;
From modest beginnings in 1960, China has recently become a highly visible actor in Africa's lending landscape. The World Bank recently released data on official debt to China in 37 African countries. We at CARI use this debt data, and our own new data on over 1,100 loan commitments across all of China's African borrowers, to analyze Chinese lending to Africa's risky borrowers.
Africa Growth Initiative at Brookings;
The new year 2020 marks the beginning of a promising decade for Africa. Through at least the first half of the decade, economic growth across Africa will continue to outperform that of other regions, with the continent continuing to be home to seven of the world's 10 fastest-growing economies. Collective action among African and global policymakers to improve the livelihoods of all under the blueprint of the Sustainable Development Goals and the African Union's Agenda 2063 is representative of the shared energy and excitement around Africa's potential. With business environments improving, regional integration centered around the African Continental Free Trade Agreement progressing, and the transformational technologies of Fourth Industrial Revolution spreading, never before has the region been better primed for trade, investment, and mutually beneficial partnerships. The recent, unprecedented interest of an increasingly diversified group of external partners for engagement with Africa highlights this potential. Despite the continent's promise, though, obstacles to success linger, as job creation still has not caught up with the growing youth labor force, gaps in good and inclusive governance remain, and climate change as well as state fragility threaten to reverse the hard-fought-for gains of recent decades.This special edition of Foresight Africa highlights the triumphs of past years as well as strategies from our experts to tackle forthcoming, but surmountable, obstacles to a prosperous continent by 2030.
The birth year of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), 1963, is often considered Africa's year of independence. But political freedom did not mean freedom from the repression and violence which had characterized the colonial period. Wars and conflicts have scarred the continent since independence. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, they became more complex and widespread. And so, too, did the international efforts to restore and (re) build peace in Africa. Countries worst affected by violence and conflict included Sierra Leone, Liberia, Rwanda, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan/South Sudan, Central African Republic, Mali, and Libya. In recent years, the quest for sustainable peace in Africa has taken on a new urgency, as instability and insecurity continue to negatively impact the lives of millions of Africans and hinder the continent's economic growth and development. This book joins the quest for peace by examining 30 years of peacebuilding in Africa, highlighting key lessons learned and offering some recommendations for making peace stick.
Open Society Foundations;
This is a special edition of Amplifying Voices that includes highlights of the Open Society Initiative for East Africa's work from 2005 to 2015. Amplifying Voices documents different journeys the foundation has traveled with its partners since its launch in 2005 and the collective efforts to realize human rights and freedoms for all.Amplifying Voices pays particular attention to those on the margins of society, including stories of working on the forced sterilization of HIV-positive women or those with mental health illnesses, promoting the rights of sex workers, or addressing the question of human rights and counterterrorism.The Open Society Initiative for East Africa started as a one-program initiative in 2005 in Kenya and today has grown to include eight programs in the region. Geographically, the foundation now works in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan, and Sudan. It addresses issues including health and rights, disability rights, and food security.
Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA);
The second edition of Social Accountability Guidebook for CSOs is a learning resource that is intended to support the building of a community of practice of social accountability practitioners, advocates, and champions in West Africa. This guidebook is an updated version of the first edition which was published in 2018. The Guidebook presents case studies of social accountability initiatives from the West African region, interspersed with definitions of terminologies related to the concept. It is intended to deepen understanding and foster appreciation of the concept of social accountability, its potential for strengthening accountability in the region, and the challenges that may be encountered in implementing social accountability initiatives in the West African Context. It is hoped that the Guidebook will serve as a catalyst for further development and tailoring of the concept of social accountability in West Africa, by CSOs, development practitioners, local and central government agencies, the donor community, and all others who are interested in advancing accountability in West Africa.