32 days to the start of the 2016 Grand to Grand Ultra …
Greetings from Arusha in Tanzania.
Today, 24 August 2016, marks an important milestone for civic action in Africa. Following two days of intense discussions and debates, more than 250 participants from 40 countries attending the #AfricansRising validation conference adopted the Kilimanjaro Declaration and resolved to create a new civil society movement to tackle the critical issues facing the continent.
Building civic unity across Africa is not a new idea, but the #AfricansRising movement will be inclusive of every sector of society, including labour, religious and other formations. The validation conference followed more than six months of intensive consultations across the continent, and the movement will be formally launched in every country to commemorate Africa Day on 25 May 2017.
Much is at stake at this critical juncture in Africa’s history. Africa is ripe for fresh ideas and new leadership in response to the many challenges impacting the lives of millions of people. A major departure from previous attempts at mobilising pan-African solidarity is that citizens will be at the centre of the movement – the distinction between Africans Rising vs Africa Rising, and conference participants agreed that intensive efforts should be made to reach out and mobilise as many people as possible. The movement will be built from the bottom up, and be inclusive of everyone who shares its ideals.
Participants agreed to work together in building a local, national and continental movement which will focus on the following key issues:
- Expanding space for civic and political action;
- Fighting for women’s rights and freedoms across society;
- Focusing our struggles on the right to equity and dignity;
- Demanding good governance as part of the fight corruption and impunity;
- Demanding climate and environmental justice.
Specific details regarding initial actions and activities, the structure of the movement, resourcing requirements, etc. will be finalised in the period leading up to the formal launch.
The significance of the new #AfricansRising movement is best summarised by its launch director, Kumi Naidoo:
“Our challenges will not be resolved unless people get organised and change that. “We can’t continue to lag in development because corrupt and inept leaders allow us to. This movement is a game-changer and we’re giving notice to everyone who wants Africa to remain a laggard that we’re not going to put up with that anymore.”
Although much work will be required to build a truly pan-African movement, its inspirational and aspirational values and objectives provide an important starting point to ignite action in every corner of the continent.
The #AfricansRising hashtag will become a widely used tool to reflect people’s participation in and solidarity with this movement.
The countdown to the Grand to Grand Ultra continues…
I invite you to support my fundraising campaign and encourage others to do the same.
Together, we can END NTDs!