We are delighted to announce that the winner of the 8th annual ONE Africa Award is SWAGEN – Support for Women in Agriculture and Environment.
SWAGEN is a member based organisation that uses indigenous knowledge to adapt to, mitigate and improve environmental and sustainable development policies that impact forest dependent communities. The work of SWAGEN is based in the Rwoho Natural Tropical Forest of Uganda.
What began in 1992 as a small group of women responding to a national policy that restricted access to the Forest has grown to a 3,000 member organisation with strategic partnerships across the continent and world. Read more about their work.
However, it is their impact in advocacy that made SWAGEN the winner from a pool of 252 impressive applications from 33 countries across Africa. SWAGEN is credited with negotiating a national policy reform on Forest Conservation in Uganda that recognises the rights of the forest dependent communities – the Collaborative Forest Management Agreement.
Additionally, their list of accomplishments includes planting more than 2,000 hectares of the Rwoho National Forest buffer zone to work towards regenerating that portion of the forest and establishing sustainable beekeeping and honey production businesses.
We join SWAGEN in celebrating their success in ensuring that members of forest communities in Uganda have a chance at a better life that doesn’t compromise the needs of generations to come. As the world grapples with agreeing on a climate deal that addresses the needs of the poor and future generations, SWAGEN has demonstrated what sheer commitment to securing systemic changes in natural resource management can do to benefit local communities in a way that lifts them out of poverty and also inspires similar achievements.
As the world prepares to achieve the Global Goals by 2030, it’s the foundation of Millennium Development Goal success laid by such groups as SWAGEN that will be the game changer.
Each year, The ONE Africa Award celebrates and highlights innovation and progress made by African led civil society organisations. As this year’s winner of the Award, SWAGEN will receive $100,000 to further the fantastic work they do in advocacy, natural resource management and the support of strong grassroots women’s groups who actively participate, contribute to and benefit from development activities in their forest-edge communities.
Congratulations to our ONE Africa Award finalists Community Link, Global Shea Alliance and Africa!Ignite and the hundreds of organisations who applied this year. There are countless African-led organisations and grassroots groups doing incredible, life-changing work across the continent and we wish them continued success.