Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Sustainability Conversations ... Africa's Own Story

"It is time we speak together and decide what change we wish to see in our countries, across Africa and what we want Africa to be when we celebrate Africa Day in the future. For a long time now, others have been writing our story. Now is the time for us to take a brave step, a giant step for us and start writing (and telling) our own story—a story of a united Africa, at peace with prosperous and healthy people," says Kumi Naidoo

"Today we are told that Africa is rising. Yet, when we look closer, it seems that this is based solely on aggregated assessments of national Gross Domestic Product. In these rising African countries the few are becoming fantastically wealthy while the majority remain socially marginalized and economically excluded." "In truth," says Kumi, the majority of Africans are not rising and continue to struggle with poverty and the denial of their most basic rights.

“Imagine we are the last people on the planet and climate change has happened and we decided to write up the history of humanity and put it in a capsule so that if human life emerges again they won’t make the same mistakes, one of the things we would probably conclude is that those who historically deem themselves to be civilised and need to civilise the uncivilised – that is the indigenous peoples of the world – we would conclude that the people who were most civilised were the indigenous peoples of the world.” - Kumi Naidoo in an exit interview after leaving Greenpeace International.


In February 2016, Kumi Naidoo agreed to serve as the start-up director of African Civil Society Initiative. Upon accepting the role he immediately set about engaging in dialogue with civil society across the continent to gain further insight into perspectives on a move to build greater unity within civil society on the continent. The process included numerous formal and informal consultations with civil society activists, regional and local networks, NGOs, international non-governmental organizations (INGOs), trade unions and faith-based groups across the continent.

Key discussions were affirmed at a recent strategy workshop organized by the African Civil Society Initiative. Thirty activists, NGOs and networks aligned themselves with the inspirational Rustlers Valley Declaration (2014), thus taking up the challenge for civil society generally and NGOs specifically "to be the change we want to see in the world."

Kumi Naidoo is back on the iStart2 Show this week and offers a glimpse at what the new Africa Civil Society Initiative might look like. Tune in Thursday @17h30.

Keitu Gwangwa & Pierre du Toit host the iStart2 Show on Thursdays at 17h30. Radio Today broadcasts on 1485 MW (AM) in greater Johannesburg and countrywide on ‪#‎DStv‬ audio channel 869. 


Radio Today also streams globally on 

Something to think about ...
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