Aug 3rd, 2012 3:26 PM UTC
By Dr Sipho Moyo
We’re proud to announce that applications and nominations are now open for the 2012 ONE Africa Award. The annual ONE Africa Award (a $100,000 USD prize) seeks to recognize the Africa-driven, African-led advocacy efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals across Africa. We seek to particularly showcase innovative efforts and initiatives that have demonstrated success and impact at a community, national or regional level. By honoring the commitment and progress on the ground, we hope that new efforts can be inspired and more lives can be improved.
Now in its fifth year, the ONE Africa Award has been awarded to four outstanding organizations in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and Togo over the past four years covering the breadth of development sectors: health & media; youth empowerment; good governance; and women’s rights. Moreover, the ONE Africa Award is unearthing many more effective organizations that we recognize as finalists. It’s an incredible challenge to choose the winner from amongst all the truly impressive and inspiring applications.
Representatives from GF2D, the 2011 ONE Africa Award winner, receive the prize at a ceremony in Johannesburg flanked by ONE staff and The Honorable Trevor Manuel, South Africa’s Minister for National Planning.
For that reason, it’s important to highlight the criteria we seek as we begin reviewing and judging the applications. The winner can be an individual, organization, or group involved in direct services in their home African country that directly work to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The winner may also be an advocacy group or think tank that engages in activities to hold their governments accountable. Regardless, the distinguishing trait is that the winner must have some innovative advocacy programs within their community and country that raise awareness of the MDGs and/or promotes the attainment of MDGs in their country. It’s important to note that ONE Africa Award seeks to reward African-led, African-driven efforts—which means that we look for winners that are based and registered in an African country and can demonstrate that its core and founding leadership are African citizens . More details about our scoring criteria can be found on the award page.
Over the next few months we hope to review and update our readership on our past winners and finalists, with a particular focus on the impact they are having in their communities. So stay tuned to the ONE Africa Blog as we post updates and tell the stories of the progress being made all over the continent.
We’re open for applications today and will receive them until 23:59 SAST / 21:59 GMT/UTC September 23. So let’s spread the word and find us some winning organizations!
Find out more on the ONE Africa Award website.
Jul 31st, 2012 11:02 AM UTC
By Remi Onabanjo
When Nigerian musical sensation, 2Face Idibia arrived in Johannesburg, the Big Brother Africa House wasn’t his only stop. Along with the ONE Africa team, he went into the heart of Soweto, South Africa’s largest township, to visit the Kliptown Youth Centre.
Founded in 2007, the Kliptown Youth Centre’s works to help children and adolescents in the surrounding area take control of their futures. While visiting the centre, its director and co-founder Thulani Madondo, who was recently recognized as one of the CNN Heroes 2012 gave the group a walking tour of the facilities, and briefed 2Face on the numerous programs that they offer in the centre’s ever growing library.
2Face Idibia (front right) talks to Thulani Madondo (front left) at Kliptown Youth Centre
As Thulani explained the after school tutoring program and its use of One Laptop per Child, a unique technological initiative aimed at empowering children by providing them with low powered laptops, we could hear the distinct sound of children coming in on their way back from school, all excited to take part in everything the centre has to offer.
After meeting the main youth programmers, we were treated to another facet of the Kliptown Youth Centre: the talented and enthusiastic youth Gumboots dance group. Through their phenomenal performance, it was clear that the centre doesn’t only focus on nurturing the youth academically, but also allowing them to express themselves artistically. As the visit finished off, 2Face was able to personally help out with the food program by serving hot lunches to the school children. Although simple in design, this is one of the centre’s most important programs, as it ensures that each child that comes through has access to at least one balanced meal per day.
2Face Idibia with the Kliptown Youth Centre and ONE teams
At the end of the day, all those involved in the visit were extremely moved and inspired. 2Face was especially impressed, and stated how the centre was the embodiment of a true “positive initiative”. He acknowledged the hard work that the centre is doing in order to change the lives of youth in Kliptown, and actively wondered whether this could be done in other regions on the continent.
The admirable work of Thulani and his peers shows that in Kliptown, Soweto, people are definitely hungry for change.
Join them and become part of the movement!
Jul 30th, 2012 10:32 AM UTC
By Dr Sipho Moyo
ONE Africa Director Sipho Moyo reflects on the life and accomplishments of Ghana President John Atta Mills, who died last week.
When an African leader passes on, their death is never a simple, clear-cut affair. It is nearly always shrouded in secrecy or followed by a constitutional crisis in which the citizens never know exactly who is going to take over.
Not so in Ghana, where President John Atta Mills passed away last week. He was 68.
The first African country to declare independence from Britain has also become the hallmark of what an African country can achieve if it stays on a steady course of reasonable governance and is committed to serving its citizens.
Ghana has steadily become a country where institutions work and governance is conducted through these institutions rather than individuals. The fact that the death of Atta Mills has not created any constitutional crisis in Ghana is testimony to the fact that that country’s democracy has become a tradition, and no longer an experiment.
Similarly his narrow victory — elected with a margin of less than 1 percent in the 2008 election — did not set off an explosion of violence as we’ve come to expect epitomized by the post-election violence in the Ivory Coast and Kenya. Further evidence of the maturity of democracy in Ghana is how a completely seamless transition has already taken place with Vice President John Dramani Mahama stepping up to the plate.
And despite the suddenness of Mills’ death, Ghanaians have not had to worry about what will happen or who will take over in the event of death. This is all because the constitution is crystal clear, respected and above all because their institutions function.
Not many African leaders are ever admitted and die in their own national hospitals. Yet in Ghana, where government has invested heavily in the national health systems, what’s good enough for Ghanaian citizens seems to be good enough for their presidents.
For this reason, we at ONE pay tribute to President Mills for his contribution to the consolidation of this maturing democracy and for his legacy as a leader who not only oversaw the beginning of oil production in Ghana, but also pushed for transparency particularly in respect of ensuring that the nation’s oil wealth would be used for the good of the people. We urge the leaders and the people of Ghana to truly build upon, accelerate and deepen this legacy of transparency, for this is above all the aspiration of all Ghanaians and all African citizens.
Jul 19th, 2012 2:30 PM UTC
By Dr Sipho Moyo
Earlier this week, South African Home Affairs Minister Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma became the first-ever female head of the African Union (AU) Commission after emerging the winner of a hard-fought election for this important post. The incumbent was Dr. Jean Ping (from Gabon) who served the continent since 2008. ONE thanks Dr. Ping for his leadership of the African Union Comission over the past four years and congratulates Zuma, the AU and the African continent on her election as Chair of the AU Commission.
There is no question that Zuma will need to hit the ground running. ONE is hopeful that she will bring a new sense of inclusiveness to the AU. This means not only sensitively healing rifts caused during the election (which included 6 months of deadlock after an inconclusive vote in January), but also bringing African citizens more into conversations about the future of their continent.
This is especially critical as the world begins to discuss the post- Millennium Development Goals development agenda. The AU, African governments and international partners have a central role to play in in this process, but Africa’s post-2015 strategy will not succeed unless African citizens – the most important stakeholders – are brought into it.
In terms of issues, Zuma will have to work on parallel tracks. One track to address the ongoing political challenges facing the continent in countries like Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mali, where Zuma’s diplomatic experience will no doubt be an asset to the AU. In addition, she’ll need to focus on another equally critical track – the social and economic issues facing the continent. We know that food security, economic growth, health and other issues are essential to unlocking progress on the continent and securing a prosperous, peaceful future for African citizens. The AU needs to play a strong leadership role in both raising these issues and encouraging real commitments and actions from Member States.
ONE looks forward to working closely with Zuma on this front. Last week, we joined ONE members in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to deliver a petition from more than 33,000 African citizens asking AU to lift 31 million people out of poverty and prevent 12 million children from stunting by investing in agriculture and food security. After receiving the petition on behalf of AU Chair and Beninese President Yay Boni, Beninese Foreign Minister Dr. Nassirou Bako-Arifari called for 2013 to be the “Year of African Agriculture” at the AU, focused on recommitting to and revitalizing the Maputo targets.
ONE is hopeful that Zuma will not only be a new ally in this endeavor but actually a champion, celebrating the successes and best practices and encouraging the Members States which are lagging behind to do more.
Jul 13th, 2012 1:32 PM UTC
By Nora Coghlan
The 19th African Union Summit kicked off earlier this week here in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The official theme of the summit is Intra-African trade, but a lot of other issues will be on the table when the 53 African Heads of State meet this Sunday.
Though the election for the head of the AU is grabbing most of the media headlines, we were excited to hear another message come through – a call for focusing on agriculture and food security. At her press conference on Wednesday morning, the AU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, H.E. Tumusiime Rhoda Peace, called on African leaders to invest their own resources into agriculture, saying “We must get Africa to take its destiny within its own hands. That’s why I’m talking about marshaling resources from within the continent.”
She also stressed the need for African leaders to recruit new partners – such as young people and the private sector (especially through the new GROW Initiative) – in this effort.
Her words could not be timelier. Next year marks the tenth anniversary of the Maputo commitments, whereby African governments promised to increase spending on agriculture to 10% of their budgets and reach agricultural growth targets of 6%.
We know these targets could transform the African continent. Over 33,000 ONE members across the continent have signed our petition asking the AU lift 31 million of its people out of poverty and prevent 12 million children from stunting.
This evening we’ll be handing our petition to AU Chair and President of Benin, HE Yayi Boni alongside Ethiopian Olympic marathon winner Haile Gebrselassie and ONE members here in Addis.
Jun 6th, 2012 10:27 AM UTC
By Wangui Muchiri
Big Brother Africa will have a new housemate, that they can see, but do not know. Yet. The ONE garden!
This year, ONE in Africa in collaboration with MNET will be taking steps to be part of a campaign to raise awareness about famine in Africa, and the need to make smart investments in Agriculture. This is the first time Big Brother Africa will be talking about hunger in Africa.
The ONE garden in the Big Brother Africa house
It is truly sad, that in the 21st Century, Africa is still ravaged by a preventable crisis that has seen millions in Africa locked in a vicious cycle of hunger and poverty.
Big Brother Africa presents an excellent platform for ONE’s work in Africa, as millions from all over the continent stay glued to their screens for 91 days on Africa’s top rated reality TV show.
There are lots of twists and turns coming up in the following weeks as ONE and Big Brother Africa, challenge the housemates; teaching them how to feed a nation as well as giving them opportunities to speak on behalf of the world’s poorest.
You can be part of the action too, by tuning in to DSTV Channel 197 or 198, or Big Brother Africa’s website.
Keep watching Big Brother, because Big Brother is certainly always watching you.
Mar 8th, 2012 11:12 AM UTC
By ONE Partners
Here’s a post from our friends at the Kenya AIDS Vaccine Initiative (KAVI) in honor of International Women’s Day. KAVI is a collaborator of ONE’s partner the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI).
The first person in Kenya to speak publicly about her participation in an HIV vaccine trial, in 2001, was a woman. She was a former classmate of mine and also a medical doctor. I was fascinated to learn that this exciting research was happening right at my doorstep. Not long after, I left my position in the emergency room of a local hospital to join the Kenya AIDS Vaccine Initiative.
It’s becoming more widely known that African women bear the greatest burden of HIV/AIDS worldwide. According to UNAIDS, 59% of all people living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa are women. What is less well known is the immense contribution African women have made and continue to make to HIV-prevention research. For instance, the first clues that an AIDS vaccine might be possible came from African women. These were a small subset of sex workers in Nairobi and the Gambia who had been repeatedly exposed to HIV but not infected; they were apparently able to resist the virus. The finding sparked a search—which continues to date—for a vaccine that can teach the body to protect itself against HIV.
I am motivated to work in this field because I am convinced that a safe and effective HIV vaccine, one that is made widely available to those who need it most, will be a game-changer for African women. The reality is that millions of women are simply unable to access or negotiate the use of any of the HIV prevention methods currently offered, which makes it critically important that we expand the range of options available.
Today it is International Women’s Day, which for me is a time to celebrate the contributions women have made to HIV-prevention research. Female researchers, volunteers, advocates and decision-makers around the world dedicate themselves to this cause. It is now more urgent than ever that we sustain support for efforts to develop new tools to prevent HIV infection, specifically ones that address the varied needs of women.
A safe and effective HIV vaccine, used in combination with other prevention strategies, is our best hope of ending the AIDS pandemic. But developing new HIV prevention tools takes resources, people, and time—in the laboratory, in safety tests, and in clinical trials. Sustained investments in HIV vaccine research are therefore critical; so is political support.
African women are playing a key role in the global endeavor to stop HIV/AIDS, and in the years to come will continue to be a central force in making an HIV vaccine a reality. Join us in this effort!
Dr. Gaudensia Nzembi Mutua is a research physician at the Kenya AIDS Vaccine Initiative (KAVI). She is based in Nairobi, Kenya.
Mar 1st, 2012 1:53 PM UTC
By Wangui Muchiri
“Farming is the future. Famines should be consigned to history.”
A group of smallholder farmers and ordinary African citizens marched to State House in Tanzania today, to deliver a petition signed by more than 16,000 African ONE members. This was the first time Tanzanian President Kikwete had received a continent wide petition, and the first time ONE had delivered a petition on African soil.
ONE members and partner organisations march to State House
President Jakaya Kikwete captured the soul of the event when he explained its importance, saying:
“It is important because it reminds us that Agriculture is the life-blood of our country, sustaining our people in towns and villages and meeting their basic needs.”
ONE’s Dr Sipho Moyo presents the petition to President Kikwete
Mrisho Mpoto (aka MJOMBA) a famous East African poet, agreed:
“Hunger is not acceptable. Hunger makes people suffer, affects child’s mental growth, diminishes the honour of the family and nation. World leaders have a role to play. Invest in agriculture, support the future generation and attain the MDGs”
The petition calls on African leaders to provide greater food security for ordinary Africans by investing more in support for smallholder farmers. ANSAF, (Agricultural Non State Actors Forum), who have been key partners in the Hungry No More campaign, were also present. Campaigners called on President Jakaya Kikwete to take the lead on investment in sustainable agriculture, setting the standard for other African Heads of State.
Dr. Sipho S. Moyo, Africa Director at ONE, said:
“If you want to reduce poverty, you need to go where poverty is. Reducing poverty will mean targeting investments towards smallholders in order to employ local labor, supply local markets and spend earnings in local markets which creates multiplier effects in rural economies, improves local food self-sufficiency and reduces rural inequality.
This is why President Jakaya Kikwete’s government commitment to continue focusing on building an enabling environment for smallholder farmers, is encouraging. Currently only 7 African countries have kept their promise to do 10% – this number must increase by the tenth anniversary in 2013, and we are delighted Tanzania is leading the way”.
The petition also challenges African leaders to demonstrate their resolve in tackling famine and other agriculture related problems on the continent by:
The petition is part of a campaign led by ONE in Africa, ANSAF and other African partners stressing on the importance of agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa, where more than three-quarters of the poor live outside of urban centres and depend on agriculture for their livelihoods.
Audax Rukonge, ANSAF’s Executive director said:
“MKUKUTA and the Tanzania Five Year Development Plan commits the government to address food insecurity and poverty, among others. In the Tanzanian context, and probably most of African countries, poverty is a rural phenomenon, and agriculture is the main livelihood source. Tanzania can attain some of the Millennium Development as well as MKUKUTA Goals if we invest in agriculture and particularly smallholder farmers. Let us increase the share of agriculture that benefits smallholders and transform the sector for equitable economic growth”.
Studies show that in 2010 agriculture contributed at least 24% to Tanzania’s GDP, accounted for 60% of its labor and provided 34% of its exports. This was far more than the 17.3% contributed by the Manufacturing, 28.2% from minerals and 22.5% from the tourism industry. The strategic importance of agriculture to Tanzania’s fight against poverty is therefore not debatable.
The potential for agriculture in Tanzania and across the region is immense – the right investments now can help ensure that agriculture helps lead the economic transformation of the continent. Currently, Tanzania spends close to 7% of its budget on Agriculture. Nearly ten years ago African leaders made an historic promise to their people, – especially those amongst the poorest – it was to spend at least 10% of the budget on agriculture and farming. Few have kept this promise. Before the 10th anniversary its time they all did so as part of other improvements to beat hunger and boost wellbeing across Africa.
Following today’s event ONE and partners will take the campaign to forthcoming regional events including the AU Summit in Malawi in July.
A big thank you to all ONE members who signed the petition. With your help we really are making a difference!
Feb 24th, 2012 3:47 PM UTC
By Wangui Muchiri
Senegal has often been celebrated as an oasis of peace amidst its coup ridden neighbours in West Africa. However, with the recent violence that has rocked Dakar ahead of Sunday’s presidential elections, many have began wondering if Senegal could be on the brink of losing its reputation as Africa’s most stable democracy. Protestors are up in arms against anti-riot police in down town Dakar, bringing business almost to a stand still and dozens have been reported injured.
The conflict is based on President Wade’s bid for a third term. Opposition parties are said to have vowed to cause mayhem, should the 85 year old incumbent win the election. Their bone of contention lies in the fact that the constitution clearly bars President Abdoulaye Wade from contesting in this year’s elections. Some opposition members are calling for a postponement of the election saying that it would be impossible to hold a free and fair election in Senegal.
President Wade on the other hand sees things very differently. He has argued that the constitution he helped changed to limit presidential tenures to two terms, came into effect after he was in power, and therefore it was still technically legal for him to run another term. The ruling party has ruled out the possibility of changing the election dates. Unless something drastic happens, Senegal is therefore set for elections on the 26th of February.
In the midst of all this, the AU has appointed former Nigerian president, Olusegun Obasanjo to head its delegation ahead of the Sunday’s election. Obasanjo has been quoted as saying that he is ready to go beyond merely observing the elections to mediating should the need become necessary.
President Obasanjo is said to have already met with President Abdoulaye Wade and several members of the opposition who include, Ousmane Tanor Dieng, Youssour N’dour and Alioune Tine. Senegalese newspapers also report that he has also met with the head of the constitutional court, the legal body that has final say over election disputes. It was the court that disqualified Youssour N’dour, one of Africa’s most famous musicians, from running. And it was also the court that ruled that Wade could run for a third term, on the argument that he was elected before the new constitution including term limits went into effect.
International observers, including the EU and US have called on restraint and urged for a peaceful, free and fair election. At the end of the day as the Africa Review puts it, whatever the outcome, Senegal’s model democracy is this week set to face a stern examination that will either shatter the proud tradition, or leave it even stronger. Many hope for the latter.
Jul 8th, 2011 3:15 PM UTC
By Dr Sipho Moyo
The annual ONE Africa Award, is back for the fourth year running. If you are an indigenous African organization making a tangible difference in your community, then we are eagerly waiting to hear from you. Why? Because, we at ONE are believers in the future of Africans being transformed by Africans themselves. The ONE Africa Award is about celebrating our victories and pointing out the silver lining in the cloud.
This year the ONE Africa Award will particularly address two things; creativity and advocacy. We shall be rewarding innovative Africa-led, Africa-driven advocacy efforts to help advance one or more of the Millennium Development Goals. The winner receives $100, 000 USD.
Since crowning our first winner in 2008, we continue to see evidence of selfless African efforts in utilizing unique methods designed to reduce poverty and the spread of preventable diseases. These organizations demonstrate that they understand the complexities of working with their communities and hence provide the best solutions to combat their problems, and drive the demand for change that is necessary for the continent to transform and attain any of the Millennium Development Goals.
Our first winner in 2008 was Devcoms for its work with the media in Nigeria, training and educating journalists and editors on public healthcare issues. Devcoms’ work, corresponded with a substantial rise in media coverage of maternal and child health issues in Nigeria, bringing much needed attention to the challenges and awareness of how they can be addressed. In 2009, SIDAREC, a community organization founded by young people in Nairobi’s slums, won for its work in engaging and empowering disadvantaged youth in the urban slums of Kenya’s capital and actively preventing violence. Last year, SEND West Africa won for their work to educate and empower citizens to take part in the political process and access the services available to them. SEND’s model of citizen engagement, education, training and advocacy is backed up by policy research and they not only promote sustainable development, but also ensure that their efforts can be replicated in different regions and countries.
You could be this year’s winner. Nominations for the award have already begun and close on September 16th, 2011. Don’t waste another minute. For more details on how and where to send your applications, visit our website at: one.org/africaaward
The award recipient will be announced in December 2011.
The International ONE Blog is a daily log of the anti-poverty movement. The site is operated by ONE staff, with guest contributions from ONE volunteers, members and allies.
The content of each post and each comment represents the views of that author and does not necessarily reflect the views of ONE. ONE does not support or oppose any candidate for elected office, and any post expressing support or opposition for a candidate is not endorsed by ONE.