May 10th, 2013 11:24 AM UTC
By Dr Sipho Moyo
In a few weeks, the UK government will host a major international event in London called Nutrition for Growth: Beating Hunger through Business and Science. Happening just days before the 2013 G8 Summit in Lough Erne, it will bring together governments, businesses, scientists and civil society to examine strategies that could improve the quality and quantity of food available to the world’s poorest people.
Back in March I attended a highly energised meeting of African civil society organisations in Ethiopia, who had gathered for Africa’s biggest annual forum on agriculture and where we launched our report A Growing Opportunity. We all agreed an urgent message needed to be sent to the international community before the June summit in the UK.
As a result, ONE together with 36 other African organisations have written to UK Prime Minister Cameron asking his government to ensure that African-led agriculture is at the heart of the Nutrition for Growth event, and specifically the existing CAADP plans.
CAADP stands for the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Program. It has already created momentum to reform agriculture in 40 out of 53 African countries and many more are joining. This makes it the single best existing framework that would support the G8 to deliver excellent results from their food security and nutrition investments on the continent.
CAADP will also become the central organising vehicle for the African Union year of Agriculture in 2014. African states have committed themselves become more accountable to their people on accelerated progress in fighting hunger and helping small-holder farmers access better investment, technology and markets to sell their produce.
African leadership, political will and investment is critical to realising the poverty reducing potential of African agriculture. The private sector and international community also has a very important supporting role to play in investing in African-led agriculture.
Rhoda Peace Tumusiime, African Union Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, has said, “Africa has potential, but it cannot eat potential. More coordinated action is needed”.
Rather than re-invent the wheel, the G8 must build on the momentum growing across Africa and fund the agriculture plans already in place.
May 9th, 2013 4:32 PM UTC
By Guest Blogger
ONE US Policy Manager David Hong and ONE Africa Deputy Director Nachilala Nkombo look at the progress made by Grow Africa in the last year.
Today, five African heads of state, four G8 development ministers, and over 100 private sector companies will meet in Cape Town, South Africa at the World Economic Forum on Africa to assess Grow Africa’s work in 2012, the partnership’s first full year in business.
First, here’s a little background. Two years ago, the African Union Commission, New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) agency, and the World Economic Forum combined forces to create a new partnership, Grow Africa, which aims to reduce poverty by accelerating private sector investment in African agriculture.
The partnership is led by the organisations above, and includes eight member countries and various stakeholders such as host governments, companies involved in investment, civil society, research institutions, and farmer organisations.
Here at ONE, we’re taking this opportunity to weigh in on Grow Africa’s first annual report. Overall, the initiative made significant progress last year, especially given the small size of its team. ONE hopes for further and more robust reporting in the coming years so the partnership can demonstrate its value and defend its model. Annual reporting gives Grow Africa an opportunity to demonstrate lessons learned over the past year and what challenges lay ahead.
Here are the headlines:
Obviously, there is a lot to commend here. Thousands of smallholders are being incorporated into commercial food supply chains where they’re growing more food and generating more income for their families. If Grow Africa adds further measures to increase transparency and expand reporting of poverty reduction indicators, the partnership could change the game for farmers and businesses.
For more information on Grow Africa’s report and ONE’s analysis, check out this policy brief.
May 9th, 2013 11:58 AM UTC
By Saira O'Mallie
This morning we delivered over 135,000 petition signatures for our Open for Development campaign to 10 Downing Street, home of the UK Prime Minister.
Thousands of ONE members are calling for the next set of poverty-busting goals to reflect the views and priorities of people living in poverty, and to be specific, measurable and accountable.
A High Level Panel, co-chaired by UK Prime Minister David Cameron are in charge of coming up with the new Millennium Development Goals, and we’ve been tracking them down around the world to get our campaign delivered.
Here is the message we delivered today:
A huge thank you to everyone who has supported the campaign. We’ll keep you updated on the progress as we keep pushing hard to make sure the voices of the world’s most vulnerable people are heard.
May 8th, 2013 1:25 PM UTC
By Jamie Drummond
Erik Charas is a campaigning journalist in Mozambique. He was recently arrested by local officials for asking government leaders difficult questions about shady deals done in Mozambique’s natural resources extraction sector.
Whether “Africa keeps its promise” to its people, the theme of this year’s World Economic Forum in Cape Town, depends in large part on how Mozambican and other African leaders respond to the probing questions asked by people like Erik.
The stakes could not be higher. Mozambique, like many other African nations across the continent, is discovering and developing vast natural resource reserves and untapping enormous amounts of resource wealth. Resource development offers a golden key to a much desired and heralded “economic transformation”. But the turning of this key depends on ensuring efficient and transparent management of resource revenues and the investment of these revenues into the continent’s physical and human infrastructure.
If Mozambique – like Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia and others – gets this right, it could develop more rapidly and, above all, more inclusively, securing a prosperous future for all its citizens. These choices must be made now.
That is why ONE, along with its partners in the Publish What You Pay coalition, have been campaigning hard for transparency in the extractives sector in Europe and North America. We recently celebrated serious progress in this campaign as Europe agreed to mandatory reporting of payments by companies to governments in the extractives sector. It would be wonderful if African leaders now took this further and implemented legislation covering Johannesburg, Nairobi, Accra and other stock exchanges.
We are also supporting our partners in pushing for disclosure of “beneficial ownership” of dodgy shell companies – as lack of clarity around ownership facilitates hiding stolen assets and tax evasion – as well as technical assistance for African revenue authorities, and exchange of tax information conventions.
All these efforts can help authorities and citizens follow the money, and ensure funds hidden from revenue authorities in the murkier parts of the offshore system can be exposed, relocated and taxed accordingly. But it would be nonsense stopping at transparency only offshore.
Transparency of government budgets is equally important, from national to local level, so citizens can track resources and follow the money all the way to results where people live – kids immunised, educated, nourished, wells dug and working, electricity accessed even in remote rural areas, and small farmers properly supported and connected through farm-to-market roads.
With partners we are campaigning across these fronts so that African nations will have more domestic resources at their disposal, through increased revenue collection and economic growth, to invest in the continent’s infrastructure and meet all the promises African leaders have made to their citizens to end hunger, malnutrition, disease and extreme poverty, and to instead spread prosperity.
A new report from Kofi Annan’s Africa Progress Panel on African natural resource governance, being launched this week at the World Economic Forum, lays out much of what must be done to help secure the revenues needed for development on the continent.
Its policy recommendations make clear that African nations should be legislating for transparency in the natural resources sector, and how governments can make better use of those revenues – by channelling them into infrastructure, job creation, health, nutrition and education. If this happens, then the 2 billion African citizens of 2050, and all global citizens around the world, who will by then be relying on Africa for economic and political dynamism and leadership, will look back upon this time – the 50th anniversary of the African Union, and maybe even this very 2013 meeting in Cape Town – as pivotal turning points in the continent’s history.
This way lies the future that leaders such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu envisioned – that the twenty first century will be “the African century”. This way lies the realisation of the African Union’s own charter; of a resilient, vibrant Africa driven and determined by its own citizens.
This way also lies the realisation of Nelson Mandela’s dream – that this could be the generation to end extreme poverty and hunger. But the path towards such visionary progress wont be lit up if the Erik Charas’ of Africa are silenced and intimidated into not asking those probing, revealing, enlightening, questions.
Get the latest news and views from ONE at the World Economic Forum from tomorrow by following @ONECampaign on Twitter.
May 8th, 2013 11:53 AM UTC
By Malaka Gharib
Kudos to Roger for not only being brave enough to ask this question, but for doing all the research to be able to answer it, too. I’ve worked with Roger for over a year now at ONE (and read both his books too) – and this TEDx Talk from him brought tears to my eyes. I have never seen such die-hard passion and sincerity in an activist until now, and I am proud to say I work with him.
Please find 20 minutes today to watch this video – then let him know what you think in a comment below.
Did Roger’s TEDx Talk inspire you? In just a few weeks world leaders are meeting in the UK to make big decisions on global nutrition, and we need your help to call for the right action. It could help 25 million children escape malnutrition by 2016 and grow up to reach their full potential.
May 7th, 2013 12:49 PM UTC
By Guest Blogger
What happens when you provide creative young Africans with the tools to make their own electronic music? US University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill hip-hop professors and artists Stephen Levitin (aka Apple Juice Kid) and Pierce Freelon traveled to Senegal and the Democratic Republic of Congo to find out.
The Beat Making Lab, a project that builds youth-oriented music studios in cultural centers around the world, started as a college course in America. In the class, students are taught the practical, historical and entrepreneurial aspects of beat making. Stephen and Pierce soon realised that their project could have a more profound impact if applied to some of the world’s poorest places.
With the ultimate goal of empowering young musicians, the professors came up with a model to raise money for equipment, provide their expertise in a two-week programme, then leave the studios behind for sustainable community use. Since that moment of realisation, they’ve set up beat labs in some pretty interesting places: the Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal and Panama, and soon Fiji.
ONE intern Hannah got the chance to ask Pierce Freelon some questions about their Africa projects specifically, and learn more about how they’ve created a global do-it-yourself digital music community.
How does providing studio space and the tools and training to make beats and songs create a social impact?
Why do you think it is important for African youth to learn how to make beats?
How did you come up with the idea of taking your Beat Making Lab to Africa? What was your inspiration for this new initiative?
Are Africans using music as a way to promote social change? What kinds of issues and emotions are they trying to communicate?
They are producing all kinds of music: dancehall, reggae, hip hop, EDM, R&B, etc.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced with taking your Beat Making Lab from the States to Africa?
In Senegal, our biggest challenge was providing transportation for our students from their homes to the studio and back. We want our kids to have easy access to the resources we provide but sometimes it’s hard when the youth are so spread out.
How do you pick who takes your class in Africa? Is it a first-come, first-served sign up? Are there any prerequisites?
How do your African students share their songs and continue to create an impact after you leave?
We’ve also considered a snail mail system, where they can ship hard drives full of their beats and sessions to a place with better bandwidth for upload. Email and Facebook, which require less bandwidth, have been more usable. Several of the students have continued to publish blogs, and other writings, leading to fairly substantial opportunities for them to share their stories.
As far as continuing to create impact, our studios and equipment remain in Dakar and Goma and the kids have continued to write songs and collaborate with local musicians in the community. It’s been great.
Can you tell us a little bit about your own musical backgrounds?
What is the biggest lesson you hope your students take away from your beat making class/workshop?
May 3rd, 2013 10:45 AM UTC
By Erin Finucane
For the launch of our global nutrition campaign in Brussels, a team of volunteers and ONE staff took the food fight to the streets. Having slaved over hot stoves the evening before, we hit the pavement with the best weapon a poverty-fighting foodie could ask for: vegetarian chilli.
We set our eyes on Place du Luxembourg, directly across from the European Parliament.
Armed with 100 hot cups of chilli at lunchtime, we went in search of hungry people. The masses welcomed us with open arms and eagerly took action by signing our petition.
This year alone over 2 million people will die as a result of being obese and over 2 million children will die from undernutrition.
Regardless of where in the world we live, nutrition should always be at the top of the agenda.
It’s time to save millions of lives.
May 1st, 2013 10:15 AM UTC
By Guest Blogger
Mike Drachkovitch, manager of marketing and external relations at ONE, shares his interview with one of the creators of a magazine and brand that is challenging the accepted understanding of Africa. Photos: AITF.
Part conceptual magazine, part clothing company, AFRICA IS THE FUTURE, or AITF, is more of an ever-evolving creative project in time travel than anything else.
And that’s exactly what its co-founder and creative director, Nicolas Premiere, had in mind. Nicolas was born in France to a French mother and a Congolese father. He and his business partner Patrick Ayamam launched AITF with an important vision in mind: to change the way you think and talk about Africa.
We think he’s done just that.
Tell me about how you came to found AITF and the team behind it?
A cultural center organizing one of my exhibitions offered to print my t-shirts for the opening. I chose to print [AFRICA IS THE FUTURE] on 30 t-shirts. But it was two years later when AITF was born. There was another exhibition, another opening, where at least ten friends came with the famous t-shirt which led to the audience talking about the slogan, its meaning and Africa.
My friend Patrick and I were pretty surprised by all the discussions that the t-shirts generated.There were new angles, perspectives and ways to talk about Africa. We wanted this to happen again more widely and more often, so we reprinted more t-shirts! In recent years we’ve generated discussion in ways other than the t-shirts-AITF Magazine is the most recent example of this.
Let’s talk about your homepage. I’m intrigued by the teaser: everything you want to know about AITF but never dared to ask. Then, clicking through, it says: now you know. What was your reasoning behind this?
Now you know means there is no hidden truth or magical secret behind AITF-it’s a creative work that is crucial but surely not sufficient-we are not the solution. We do not pretend to change the world or Africa.
You also mention on your homepage how AITF questions how the world is told to us and renews the way Africa is represented. In your view, how is that world told to us and what’s the image of Africa you’re renewing?
AITF Magazine, with its fictional content, requires the reader to ask himself questions because everything that normally seems self-evident is reversed. Particularly the traditional image of Africa in the media: poor, sick, plagued by war. By giving Africa the leading role, AITF Magazine places the continent in a position that is nearly the same as the US today.
Your conceptual magazine is published 20 years from now in 2033. Why did you pick 2033?
What about the Addis Abeba Panthers?
Your brand utilises some timeless images and design work. Tell us your creative vision behind the look and feel of AITF.
How about U.R. Doctors for America – an American child vaccinated in our backyard of Virginia?
What’s your creative process like?
One of the statistics I find most exciting about Africa is that 65 percent of Africans are under the age of 35. I couldn’t help but think that AITF is trying to connect with this up-and-coming, change-making generation. Why?
Finally, if you could share a message with ONE members young and old, what would it be?
Big thanks to Nicolas for sharing his ideas with us. Check out the website and tell us what you think in the comments below.
Apr 30th, 2013 1:59 PM UTC
By Guest Blogger
Today our guest blogger is ONE member Adrian Luckie, who along with Neil Adams, founded Munch Street Food. They are supporting our Global Good Revolution campaign by inviting us along to their exciting UK events to help spread the word.
I am passionate about street food and feel that by working with an organisation like ONE, Munch Street Food can create street food events that help convey the important messages regarding food waste and world hunger and raise more interest for these worthy causes.
As a trader who is part of the new street food revolution I feel it’s important to always encourage healthy eating and, most importantly not to waste food, which has such a devastating impact in the world.
Last week we organised a street food festival at the London Marathon, alongside ONE and Small Green Shoots. We wanted to create an environment where people could immerse themselves in a cultural experience based around diverse levels of cultural cuisine, highlighting food waste and food poverty and celebrate a platform for new talent sourced from inner city communities.
I am delighted that Munch Street Food and ONE have started to collaborate spreading the Actions Speak Louder message through our street food events. We will be asking some of the traders at our events to take part in the campaigns by adapting their menus to introducing sweet potato dishes, salads and healthier options.
Munch Street Food also works with organisations like Small Green Shoots educating the younger generation about these issues and offering them the platform to further develop their talents.
Our next free event is at the iconic More London Scoop on Saturday 25 May. We’ll have fantastic street food, great music entertainment and another opportunity to raise awareness of ONE’s campaigns. Come along if you are in the London area!
Have you joined our Global Food Revolution campaign yet? No? Get involved!
Apr 29th, 2013 5:37 PM UTC
By Erin Finucane
I have always been enamoured with power of film in advocacy work; the way it provides an emotional channel for people to connect to an issue. So when our premiere screening of Mary and Martha was met with great success, we thought, why not host another three?
Last week—the week of World Malaria Day— ONE Brussels brought Mary and Martha to Belgium and the international community. We kicked off with a screening for ONE members at Cinéma Aventure in downtown Brussels, attended by international activists from across the country.
Next, we took the powerful story to the European Parliament, with more than 30 attendees from the EU institutions, EU and African governments, and civil society. French MEP Michèle Striffler, Standing Rapporteur for Humanitarian Aid, made the introductory remarks:
“Malaria continues to be one of the most serious challenges to global health…The progress that has been achieved so far in the fight against malaria is increasingly threatened by a shortfall in funding. It is essential to keep up the fight. Malaria will remain a constant threat as long as the disease has not been completely eradicated.”
Our final Mary and Martha screening was hosted at KU Leuven, a university in the Flemish region of Belgium with a specialisation in international development cooperation. The screening, widely attended by students and alumni of the International Cooperation for North-South Relations program, was preceded by a fascinating discussion about film in advocacy, the role of students in global development, and ultimately how we can work together to bring the fight to eradicate malaria (and extreme poverty) to Belgium’s Flemish region.
Malaria kills 655,000 people every year. However, the majority of these deaths could be prevented, through simple and inexpensive interventions such as bed-nets, indoor spraying, antimalarial medicines, and treatment for pregnant women.
We share Richard Curtis’ hope that the film has inspired viewers to “be part of the movement that makes sure that in our lifetime we save millions and millions and millions of children’s lives, unnecessarily lost.”
Find out more about malaria from the people who dedicate their lived to eradicating it – watch our Google+ Hangout from World Malaria Day last week
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.