Arusha Conference to establish a new African movement for Justice, Peace and Sustainable Development
A new initiative aimed at building a civil society platform on the continent gets underway on 23rd August at the Training Centre for Development Cooperation (MS TCDC), in Arusha, Tanzania.
Over two days, the #AfricansRising Conference will bring together over 250 Africans from 45 countries on the continent, with near equal representation across genders and generations.
Tunisian activist Aya Chebbi describes the gathering as an “an important space for African youth to influence this pan-African initiative and shape it to effectively respond to the gaps and needs of civil society in Africa”
Building civic unity across Africa is not a new idea, however #AfricansRising is unique in being inclusive of every sector of society, including business, sport, the artistic community and religious formations.
“This gathering is an intergenerational dialogue on justice, peace and sustainable development for Africa and, how we organise to achieve that” said Kumi Naidoo, Launch Director of the initiative.
#AfricansRising arose out of concern that even though the world is the most connected it has ever been, Africans are not benefiting from the massive advances in technology or seeing the benefits of the natural resources boom on the continent.
The new network will focus on protecting democratic institutions; tackling gender and other inequalities; exposing corruption; addressing the effects of climate change; and working towards the eradication of poverty.
“Climate change poses the biggest threat to Africa even though we’ve contributed the least to global warming. We need to scale up adaptation and mitigation actions in the frontlines of climate vulnerability before it’s too late,” said Ibrahim Ceesay, the Chairperson of the African Youth Initiative on Climate Change (AYICC)
The initiative is cognisant that it needs to work with governments on the continent to ensure that African countries don’t get a raw deal in global matters such as climate change and trade negotiations, while still opposing those same governments when they fail to serve their own people.
“Peace and unity are critical ingredients for sustainable development. It’s about time for Africans to enjoy peace and the richness of this continent as a united people.” said trade unionist Hilma Mote.