Tag Archive for Africa

Building identity through the arts

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Kibera, one of the biggest slums in Nairobi, Kenya, and one of the biggest in the world, houses people from all ethnic backgrounds coming from different parts of the country.

The original settlers were the Nubian people from the Kenyan/Sudanese border, mostly Muslim, living alongside the Kikuyu, the majority tribe in Nairobi, although now the majority of the tenants are Luo, Luhya and some Kamba, from the west of Kenya. There are many tensions in Kibera, particularly tribal tensions between the Luo and the Kikuyu, but also between landlord and tenant and those with and without jobs.

One man, Geoffrey Ochieng, also known as Oyoo (meaning mouse in Acholi) and a native from Kibera, is trying to create an identity for them. The TV Show Top Comic has chosen him as the funniest man in Kenya and the slum is so proud of him, his initiative for the community was been received with open arms.

Kibera Creative Arts, his own social project, aims at educating and transforming the society in the slum through the arts. A group of comedians, poets, dancers and singers used their influence to attract the youth and counteract crime.

The Spanish NGO Kubuka has helped funding the project with a new and special element: the construction of an identity for Kibera. “We have to live like brothers. You cannot permit that politics make you kill your brother”, said Oyoo to the Spanish Newspaper El País.

In the headquarter of Kibera Creative Arts everything speaks about the neighbourhood: the music, the pictures, and the handicrafts. More important than the ethnicity of the maker, the voice of the whole neighbourhood is what matters. “There is a lot of talent here”, says Oyoo, “we want to attract the youth so they don’t fall into delinquency”. What Ochieng wants is to erase all divisive ethnic components; neither Luo nor Kikuyu, everyone is from Kibera there.

He intends to show children and youth what they are able to do. “Not everyone is going to be an artist, but the arts gives them the possibility of expression”, reaffirms the comedian. “It is the art and not the violence what can help you to get out of poverty”.

As stated within the Shared Societies Commitments, promotion of respect, understanding and appreciation of cultural, religious and ethnic diversity and support for local communities in exploring their identity is one of the steps to deal with social division and exclusion.


Sources: https://elpais.com/elpais/2017/08/03/planeta_futuro/1501770958_765024.html?por=mosaico



Boosting Solutions: Leadership in Africa


During the 2014 Annual Meeting of the African Development Bank that took place in Kigali, Rwanda in May 19-23, 2014, a High Level was organized to discussed “Leadership for the Africa we Want“. Many of our African Members participated at this debate. This is a video-summary of the debate.

During the discussion, important actors speak about the opportunities and challenges of Leadership for and within Africa; Club de Madrid Members Benjamin Mkapa, President of Tanzania (1995-2005) and Olusegun Obasanjo, President of Nigeria (1976-1979, 1999-2007), Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, William Ruto, Vice-President of Kenya, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chair of the African Union Commission and Mo-Ibrahim, founder and chair of the Mo-Ibrahim Foundation. The ideas may be familiar but they give us a lot to think about in terms of how to move forward to a Shared Society through Leadership.

Take a look at it, it is worthy, straight forward. The ideas may be familiar but they give us a lot to think about in terms of how to move forward to a Shared Society through Leadership.

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Leading Change for Transformation: Experiences from African Leaders

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How can we foster shared societies and inclusive sustainable development in Africa?

How are the experiences from African leaders in seeking to achieve inclusive economic transformation for their nations?

To answer these questions, a group of informed African leaders and citizens met on 19th and 20th November in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania under the auspices of the Club de Madrid and the UONGOZI Institute of African Leadership for Sustainable Development. It was co-chaired by Club de Madrid Members H.E. Benjamin Mkapa, former President of Tanzania, H.E. Festus Mogae, former President of Botswana and H.E Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria.

A breakfast roundtable discussion with the theme of ‘Leading Change for Transformation: Experiences from African Leaders’ kicked-off the symposium on November 19th, where the former presidents imparted their respective leadership experiences in seeking to achieve inclusive economic transformation for their nations and look forward to Africa’s future challenges and opportunities. The roundtable discussion gathered over 80 participants including politicians, senior officials and executives from the public and private sectors, and leaders from civil society.

Watch the Session “Leading Change for Transformation: Experiences from African Leaders” here:

The meeting reviewed development in Africa to date and the current challenges facing future development in the continent and reach the following conclusions which they share and commend to political leaders and policy makers and Africans as a whole, believing that they provide perspectives which will allow a more effective sustainable and inclusive development for the region.


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Inclusive Growth in Africa

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In our previous post, we talked about our participation at the World Forum for Democracy of the Council of Europe. The discussion focused on the threat that the current crisis creates for social cohesion, and Club de Madrid Member Kim Campbell mentioned some good examples of countries that have succeeded in avoiding division by fostering Shared Societies, such as Botswana and Ghana.

Africa understands that the way forward for economic growth is to create deliberate policies in order to reduce inequalities and promote inclusion.

The aim is to boost agricultural production, create more decent jobs and fiscal policies, strengthen democracy and have more accountable governments. Promoting this Inclusive Growth will ensure political stability and avoid risks of political uprising as we have seen in the not so distant past across North Africa.

The concept of inclusive growth reflects the Shared Societies Project (SSP) on Making the Economic Argument for Inclusion. The main argument here is that

if sections of society are marginalised they will contribute less to the economy. They will have poorer education and limited skills to contribute and less capital to invest. They may also be less willing to contribute to a society that they feel does not respect them or treat them as full citizens.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) works alongside its Regional Member Countries to unlock Africa’s potential by focussing on economic growth that results in, and conversely is a result of, widening of socio-economic opportunities for all members of society, especially the previously marginalized groups. It seeks to do so by providing fair environments, equal justice and political plurality. Proper consideration needs to be given to the fact that the majority of Africa’s population lives in rural areas and is depending on agriculture, which as a sector has been lagging behind in growth. Therefore, it is important to protect the vulnerable and marginalized groups from adverse shocks.

Inclusive growth focuses on four interrelated spheres: economic, social, political and special, which tackle issues such as young and unskilled labour, access of poor people to assets, poor quality of institutions and providing equal access to basic infrastructure.

SSP believes that building shared societies encourages economic growth and there is a strong case for making the Economic Argument for Inclusion and Shared Societies.

More info:





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