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January 2011
Regional integration can build a better future for young people

Their lives determine the future of our societies but across southern Africa young people face joblessness, HIV and AIDS, and violence. That's why when it comes to the future, experts believe regional integration is crucial for young people.

Regional integration can build a better future for young people
Youth protest at the University of Cape Town over the exclusion of students who are financially constrained from universities. Experts argue that much more must be done to ensure youth are engaged in all sectors of society.
Photo: emiller@iafrica.com

AT 23, Zanele Xaki has lived in a shack made out of corrugated iron since the day she was born.

"I was born here and there is a possibility that I will die in this place," she says.

That place is RR Section, an informal settlement in Khayelitsha, one of South Africa's largest townships about 25 kilometres from central Cape Town.

Two months ago, Xaki, who has two children and is unemployed, joined protests against lack of services in RR Section.

"We are not happy to live in a place like this," she says, "There is no water and no electricity."

Nkosiphendulo Masiki, 26, from TR Section, another informal settlement in Khayelitsha, where there have also been protests in recent months, has not had a job for three years.

"I'm fed up with looking for a job, I have been trying with no luck."

Masiki said "the pain inside" caused youth in the area to join protests.

"We feel excluded from government decisions," says Masiki, "The government only comes to us when they want our votes. I'm just a South African because I was born in this country but I don't feel it."

The experiences of Xaki and Masiki are not limited to Cape Town.

Across the southern African region, the plight of the youth - defined in the African Union's Youth Charter as between the ages of 15 and 35 years - is seen as a cause for growing concern.

High rates of poverty, unemployment, HIV and Aids, violence and poor education opportunities are some of the major problems that young people face.

"The challenges the region faces are about young people. The most hungry are young people, the unemployed are young people and the working poor are young people," says Southern African Youth Movement (SAYM) President Alfred Sigudhla.

Increasingly, regional integration - states working together across the southern African region - is seen as crucial to youth development.

It is only through weaving a regional web, advocates of integration say, that issues facing the youth, who are estimated to make up 30% of Africa's population, can be solved.

To that end, Africa already has the African Union Youth Charter, adopted by the African Union in 2006.

The Charter recognises the rights of young people and calls on all state parties to the charter to develop national policies that include the youth.

But Clayton Peters, the divisional head for skills development and national youth service at South Africa's National Youth Development Agency, says few policies at national level specifically address the needs of young people.

Peters says there is also a lack of recognition of the cross-cutting nature of youth issues in policy making.

This is highlighted in the Southern Africa Trust report on youth violence released in 2010.

"What is missing from the regional youth policy landscape is an orientation that addresses youth issues as integrated and mainstream concerns," the report says, "Unless young people's needs are prioritised in public policy across all sectors (education, health, social development, etc), it will be difficult to reduce the systemic factors driving youth vulnerability."

It's perhaps due to the lack of necessary policy development that the Southern African Youth Movement, a lobby and advocacy organisation set up to create opportunities for youth development, is working towards seeing the provisions of the African Union Charter regionalised at the Southern African Development Community (SADC) level.

Sigudhla wants to see a SADC Youth Development Protocol in order to compel countries to adopt youth development frameworks.

Meanwhile, attention is also turning to addressing regional hurdles to employment - the silver bullet in a region of high youth unemployment.

Billy Nthelebovu, the programmes coordinator at the Youth Development Network (YDN), says the economic policies of various countries are not in line with youth development objectives.

At country level, he says there is "no clear legislation" that speaks to youth employment - a problem common across the 15-country SADC bloc.

To address this, he says discussions have begun to develop a regional youth employment strategy that would look at sharing resources across the region in areas such as entrepreneurship education, how young people trade across Africa, advocacy, funding and research.

Peters, from the National Youth Development Agency, questions whether the spaces for youth participation are being opened up and believes that young people are being failed because of lack of investment in the sector.

Regional integration, he believes, is critical because, while there may be national differences in issues that young people face, the major problems are shared.

Sigudhla says the region does not have the capacity for young people to articulate their concerns and make critical input.

"The political relationship and culture leaves much to be desired and it will take some time to catch up," he says, "We have to really work together to build a strong popular movement to call for change."

He argues that while there is rhetoric around regional integration, "on the ground it is not there and is not really helping the poor".

Sigudhla believes corruption plays a role in blocking regional integration because integration in SADC is seen as a chance for the "private accumulation of capital".

"Regional integration is based on nothing but the political patronage of the elite, which becomes a problem," he says.

"For me, yes and no," says Nthelebovu on whether there is political will to address youth development.

"There is political will in terms of what governments say but we also need political commitment, action."

Meanwhile, the cost of not investing in youth development in the region could be high.

Historically, youth have shown themselves to be a determining factor in the course of nations.

In South Africa, for example, it was the youth who stood up to the might of the apartheid state in the 1976 Soweto uprisings.

More recently, politicians and researchers alike noted with concern the number of youth who participated in the 2008 xenophobic attacks in South Africa.

And in Zimbabwe, youth were roped into a militia known as the "Green Bombers", who were widely alleged to have been a key weapon in political intimidation tactics in that country.

"Where young people are not able to access positive social capital or empowering social networks, they often become more vulnerable to high risk behaviour," says the July 2010 report released by the Southern Africa Trust entitled 'Ending the Age of Marginal Majority'.

"The marginalisation of young people in societies can therefore increase their vulnerability and heighten their exposure to or involvement in violence."

The report says issues which led to young people finding themselves exposed to violence included transitions in society, inequality, poverty and unemployment.

At organisational level, the Youth Development Network has taken the lead in addressing youth unemployment with a regional entrepreneurship programme. The programme has four components. The first addresses entrepreneurial education in schools, assisting learners with their career paths, teaching basic business principles and the practical elements of running a business.

A second component provides entrepreneurial training through vocational training institutions to introduce an element of entrepreneurship so that graduates can start their own businesses.

Thirdly, mentorship programmes link young people running businesses with older people who already have experience in running a business.

And lastly, a fourth component encourages young people to develop agricultural cooperatives and saving schemes.

Started in 2005, the programme has been operating in all countries in the SADC region, except Madagascar and Angola, says Nthelebovu.

Apart from their work with youth organisations around southern Africa, the SAYM has developed a regional youth certificate that has been accepted by the African Union. It is aimed at helping those who make policy on youth issues better understand the needs of youth.

And in an innovative initiative set up following the May 2008 xenophobic attacks in South Africa, an exchange programme has been launched between South Africa and Mozambique.

Bento Marcos, the programme coordinator for sayXchange, said the programme was an attempt at integration in the region.

In a pilot phase that Marcos hopes will be extended to other areas, 10 South Africans have been sent to live in Maputo and 10 Mozambique youth have been placed in South Africa.

The participants are spending five months with host families while they work for community service organisations.

Marcus believes there are positive developments within the group of participants. "There is a lot of integration and they are seeing people for who they are."




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The youth in numbers
60% of Africa's population and about 36.9% of its work force are youth

HIV and Aids accounts for over 53% of deaths among Africa's youth.

In 2007, an estimated 3.2 million young people were living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa alone.

(Source: Fact sheet prepared by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and the United Nations Programme on Youth.)

In the SADC region, 39% of the population is made up of those that fall in the 1-24 age bracket.

(Source: Community Agency for Social Inquiry, in www.changemudanca.org)

In southern Africa, 20% of women have already given birth by age 18.

Only 21% of women in southern Africa in the 15-24 age category have complete knowledge of HIV and Aids.

(Source: The World's Youth 2006 Data Sheet, Population Reference Bureau)

In 2008, 131 million youth worldwide lacked basic reading and writing skills. 47 million of these were in sub-Saharan Africa.

(Source: Unesco Institute for Statistics, September 2010)






Children to want to dance


It would be better for children to want to dance (above) rather than burn barricades (below) in the streets.


Rather than burn barricades
 






Ending the Age of the Marginal Majority
Ending the Age of the Marginal Majority, a Southern Africa Trust research report on youth exclusion and vulnerability in southern Africa.
 






Participants at a critical thinking forum in July 2010
Participants at a critical thinking forum in July 2010 discussing the topic "Are we tapping into the region's youthfulness or failing future generations", organised by the Southern Africa Trust in partnership with the Mail & Guardian newspaper.
Ending the Age of the Marginal Majority is a report produced by the Southern Africa Trust. It is an exploration of strategies to overcome youth exclusion, vulnerability and violence in southern Africa.

The research involved a review of literature pertaining to youth and violence in the Southern African Development Community (SADC), as well as a fieldwork component, which sought to assess youth violence in more detail within five selected countries - the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe.


The findings were also shaped by inputs from One Voice Mobilisation, the Southern Africa Youth Movement and the Youth Development Network.
 
The research is a starting point for understanding youth violence in the region. It is the first study of this nature in SADC.

Causes and underlying drivers of youth violence:

The period of youth is a transition period characterised by increased vulnerability among young people living in already difficult situations such as poverty, conflict and social contexts of extreme inequality.

For young people to establish their identity, they need to forge close identification with particular groups. Where young people are not able to access positive social capital or empowering social networks, they often become more vulnerable to high risk behaviour. The marginalisation of young people can therefore increase their vulnerability and heighten their exposure to, or involvement in violence.

For certain young people, issues such as early victimisation and experience of violence in the home, substance abuse and other such factors might make them particularly vulnerable to future victimisation and/or perpetration of violence.

Understanding young people's resilience in the face of this vulnerability may provide guidance to the elements of effective intervention.

A social development approach to policy that is developmental rather than remedial in nature emerges as the best approach. Policies dealing with young people should first and foremost prioritise their development through education, skills training, livelihoods and civic engagement.


Unless young people's needs are prioritised in public policy across all sectors, it will be difficult to reduce the systemic factors driving youth vulnerability.
 
Recommendations:

Encouraging each of the SADC member states to develop a national plan to prevent violence against youth.

Work toward eliminating the minority status of women, which still prevails in many countries in the region.

Ensure that legislation that deals with the violence most affecting young children and women...is developed, tabled and promulgated in all countries.

Ensure that broader youth development issues are placed on the national agenda as matters worthy of urgent policy attention.
Youth power packs a punch in Madagascar, South Africa and Zimbabwe

As recent events in Madagascar, South Africa and Zimbabwe show, failure to provide education and job opportunities for youth can be major contributors to social unrest.

Youth power packs a punch in Madagascar, South Africa and Zimbabwe
Youth are often at the forefront of protests, such as this one over lack of service delivery in Cape Town, South Africa.

In Madagascar, South Africa and Zimbabwe, young people have shown they have the power to change the destiny of nations.

In Madagascar, a 2009 political crisis saw gangs of youth behind urban violence.

A report that assessed 12,800 youth and children in the immediate aftermath of political and civil unrest in Madagascar in 2009 found that unemployment rates among young people fuelled the unrest.

The crisis began in January 2009 when a stand-off developed between Andre Rajoelina, former mayor of Antananarivo, and ousted President Marc Ravalomanana.

It peaked in a change of leadership condemned by the international community that saw Ravalomanana flee into exile.

The UNICEF assessment report 'Pandora's Box: Youth at a Crossroads', stressed the importance of addressing the rights of the youth in any transition.

With young people witnessing or having been involved in violence, the social structure had been eroded and anger instilled.

Naming some of the causes of their participation as decreased standards of living and lack of opportunities, the youth involved in the study recommended the promotion of positive youth development, sharing and leadership development and livelihood promotion.

In South Africa, unemployed youth have been seen as the drivers of sometimes violent protests over lack of services that have swept the country in recent years.

"Any television footage of service delivery protests will show you that at the forefront of this, in great majority, are our youth, with excessive anger and misdirected energy and frustration etched on their faces. We as a country can ill afford this. Our youth are an asset and we must direct them properly," South African Defence Minister Lindiwe Sisulu told the national Parliament.

An August 2009 Parliamentary report into the protests noted that job creation for young people should be prioritised.

Youth violence prevention programmes in schools should be established and combined with leadership training, life skills development, and mentoring, the report said.

Meanwhile, during Zimbabwe's decade-long history of troubled elections, a youth militia group have been accused of serious human rights violations by rights bodies.

Known as the 'Green Bombers' because of their military-style fatigues, they emerged out of a National Youth Service (NYS) program instituted in 2001.

Human Rights Watch noted in a 2007 report 'Bashing Dissent' that Zimbabwe's police forces, agents of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO), and groups of "youth militia" were the main perpetrators of serious human rights abuses.




Impassioned address at the launch of sayXchange
Graça Machel giving an impassioned address at the launch of sayXchange.
 












Katiana Ramsamy interviewing sayXchange students
Katiana Ramsamy interviewing sayXchange students on their experiences in Maputo, Mozambique.


SayXchange pilot is a big success

The Southern Africa Youth Exchange (sayXchange) is a major programme of the Southern Africa Trust and AFS Interculture South Africa. The participants in the pilot exchange between Mozambique and South Africa have just returned home with stories of how valuable their experience has been for them.

SayXchange pilot is a big success
SayXchange participants from Mozambique and South Africa ready to make a difference in the region.

The Southern Africa Trust's new youth exchange programme, sayXchange, is opening doors between South Africa and Mozambique. It aims to promote regional integration and cross border social service among youth.

Twenty young people between the ages of 18 and 25 participated in a five month exchange between the two countries that started in July.

Ten young people from Mozambique went to South Africa and ten South Africans were chosen to go to Mozambique to participate in volunteer work at community-based non-profit organisations. They each lived with host families for the duration of the exchange.

Speaking about the programme, youth coordinator at the Southern Africa Trust, Katiana Ramsamy, said the participants had little idea of what to expect and had some misconceptions about each other's countries, communities, and cultures. South Africans, for instance, didn't think there was any form of transport or infrastructure in Mozambique and those from Mozambique were worried they would be mugged as soon as they arrived in South Africa.

But the feedback from the participants has been encouraging, she said, and their perceptions have changed positively.

"They've learnt about different cultures, their similarities as well as their differences, and how those differences are exciting and can be embraced. Many of them had doubts to begin with but have thoroughly enjoyed it," she said.

They've also contributed to the communities where they have been placed.

For instance, a participant from Mozambique who stayed in Soweto ended up helping to teach computer lessons in a school that had 400 learners and only 10 teachers.

Language was a challenge, as people speak Portuguese in Mozambique and English in South Africa, so language lessons were provided and over the months the South Africans improved their Portuguese while those from Mozambique improved their English.

Ramsamy said the 20 participants were selected from about 50 applicants who were grilled on how much they knew about their own country, how much they knew about their potential host country, and what they wanted to achieve from the programme.

"We want to expand the programme to other countries and are currently looking at including Malawi as next time," she said.

She said the programme was initiated in the wake of the 2008 xenophobic attacks in South Africa and it was believed the participants would spread their knowledge about what is going on in their host country and what lies beyond their own borders.

"We are hoping that by discussing things with their peers they will help break down the stereotypes and misperceptions people have," said Ramsamy.

 
 
 
 

Kefiloe Mokoena
Kefiloe Mokoena
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Emilia Sumburane
Emilia Sumburane
Who were the first sayXchangers?

We profile two of the sayXchange participants who have just returned home...

Kefiloe Mokoena
Age: 23
Gender: Male
Place of origin: Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa
Biography:
Prior to joining sayXchange, Kefiloe was volunteering as chairperson for Siyabamphili Youth Pioneers. Kefiloe is an advocate for volunteerism. His aspiration is to get to know and understand the different cultures in Africa. He also believes in the significant role youth play in uplifting the livelihoods of people in community development.
Volunteer organisation:
Centre for Mozambican and International Studies (CEMO) is an organisation that seeks to improve the way government operates. They enhance accountability and reporting through the results of applied research.
Location:
Maputo, Mozambique

Kefiloe is found his experience as a sayXchange volunteer very enjoyable. While working for CEMO, he has learned a lot from the organisation and claims that is it very different from the work and the life that he experienced in South Africa. He has learnt a lot about the Mozambican culture and the language. Kefiloe says that the sayXchange programme is "one of the greatest programmes from the southern Africa region". It is a programme that has many benefits, such as promoting regional integration and a regional identity, supporting youth engagement in civic affairs and inter-cultural learning and promoting volunteerism and increasing the understanding of volunteerism as an important building block for strengthening civil society.

Emilia Sumburane
Age: 22
Gender: Female
Place of origin: Maputo, Mozambique
Biography:
Emilia finished high school in 2009. She is enthusiastic about learning and experiencing new things. She worked as a volunteer for sexual and reproductive health related work at AMODEFA prior to joining sayXchange.
Volunteer organisation:
Morutathuto Primary School is a school for juniors located in Soweto, South Africa.
Location:
Soweto, South Africa

Emilia really enjoyed her sayXchange experience. She learnt a lot about the South African culture. She worked as a Computer Science assistant teacher at the Morutathuto Primary School. For Emilia, sayXchange "is a project where there is good exchange of ideas and there is no discrimination." SayXchange has given Emilia "the opportunity to live in a different culture... and live with the people of South Africa despite the conflict that has plagued the two countries," she said, referring to the 2008 xenophobic violence. She says the opportunity to work on different projects than they would have been working on in Mozambique is helping the Mozambican participants broaden their horizons and gain new experiences that can help them professionally. For Emilia, "despite some misconceived ideas that I had about South African people, I discovered that among us there is not much of a difference."





Participants in the sayXchange programme
Participants in the sayXchange programme meet Graça Machel.
 




Called on sayXchange participants to do things differently from other generations
Graça Machel called on sayXchange participants to do things differently from other generations.
Graça Machel urges youth to do things differently and change the world

The Southern Africa Trust's Ambassador for Change and renowned development activist, Mrs Graça Machel, visited participants in the southern Africa youth exchange "sayXchange" in South Africa and Mozambique on 3 and 4 December 2010 respectively.

Mrs Machel spent time with the 18 young people discussing their experiences of living in each other's countries for the last four months and advising them accordingly.

"Take up the challenge to transform your situation, so that when you talk to young people of future generations, they will be able to say that you made a difference," said Mrs Machel during her visits.

Mrs Machel further called on the sayXchange participants to do things differently from older generations so that real change can happen in the lives of those living in poverty.

The young people told Mrs Machel that, through sayXchange, their eyes had been opened to the reality of poverty that so many people live in. "I have been blind for 18 years, and the exchange has opened my eyes to the reality of those beyond my home country's borders," one participant said.

Another asked Mrs Machel to tell political leaders to come home and see the suffering of their people so that they can act decisively and work together to change people's living conditions.

The sayXchange programme has been successful in exposing young people of the region to the realities and cultures of southern African countries beyond their own borders.

The Mozambican participants expressed admiration for the commitment of South Africans to speak their indigenous languages, and would be taking that experience back home. They interacted with volunteers from other countries, and committed themselves to building stronger relationships and wider networks.

The South African participants were impressed by how Mozambicans generally work hard to make a living and do not rely on others for help. They noted that people just need opportunities to succeed. The participants said that the experience of living in a community 'touches a place in your heart and changes you forever'.

The sayXchange programme nurtures a regional development perspective amongst future leaders by promoting civic participation amongst young people. It also aims to build bridges between communities and promote intercultural understanding amongst young people in southern Africa. sayXchange is an initiative of the Southern Africa Trust in partnership with AFS Interculture South Africa.

"Through creative initiatives like sayXchange, we are making regional integration in southern Africa a positive reality for ordinary people in our countries rather than leaving it to Presidents, Ministers, and big businessmen alone," said Neville Gabriel, executive director of the Southern Africa Trust.

"This can transform how people see the benefits and necessary trade-offs involved in integrating the economies of the region's countries, and help to make regional integration work for the poor in southern Africa," he added.

Ed Haefele
Ed Haefele
 
"There are many skills and memorable moments that I have obtained from Trust but the biggest contribution is the unity and the synergy found in the team I have worked with. They are focused behind a common purpose regardless of background and this small community of professionals in the Trust have been a sterling example of what we can achieve in this region and Africa. Although I leave the Trust with a heavy heart, I know that our future will be intertwined again as this passion for development and people that the Trust has channelled and focused has allowed me to become part of the greater developmental community."
My story as a young intern at the Southern Africa Trust

Student attache at the Southern Africa Trust, Ed Haefele, supported youth related programme initiatives and assisted the executive director with editing documents. Having completed his studies at Monash University in Johannesburg, he left the team this month to take up a full time position in a major international corporation. Ed reflects on his experience of being part of the Southern Africa Trust team as an intern.

"It was almost a year and half ago when my time at the Southern Africa Trust started. In no way did I think that my time at the Trust would have such a profound effect on me as an individual and push me to discover the full extent of the impact I could have as an individual and as part of a community, a nation, and a region... if talent and man power are honed correctly."

"My time at the Trust has been one filled with interesting engagements and debate that has allowed me to build great relationships with individuals that are passionate about the work they do."

"This passion is not derived by a sense of achievement or reaching a goal but is birthed from a belief in, and making a contribution to, the cause of development."

"The diversity of perspectives on development and motivations vary among the many skilled individuals of the Trust. This melting pot of views has given me a new perspective on development and new ways of thinking about addressing development problems."

"Based on my time at the Trust my view on development has become holistic, with learning about the need for strategic focus and meticulous planning in key areas, ensuring that details are addressed as it is the details that make the difference in achieving an effective end result."

"The high professionalism of the team at the Trust has helped me gain further knowledge in all aspects of development. The Trust has also increased my knowledge on the intricacies of project management and its layout as I've worked on the sayXchange programme and in the executive director's office."

"Involvement in the sayXchange programme has reinforced my conviction that a common goal supported by tolerance and understanding will provide unity. Such a unity provides a foundation for passion which allows others to be set free from the shackles on inaction and apathy towards poverty."

"These convictions have become a reality as the Trust presented me with the opportunity to see different leadership styles and techniques that have revealed areas for my future personal growth."

ChangeMudança
A closer look at youth in southern Africa

CHANGEMUNDANÇA is a quarterly electronic magazine produced through a partnership between the Southern Africa Trust and the African Monitor, sharing innovative ways to overcome poverty in the southern Africa region.

The latest issue of ChangeMudança focuses on youth in the region, examining issues such as unemployment, violence, and the opportunities brought about by the 2010 soccer world cup.

It also focuses on the Democratic Republic of Congo as a country profile, highlights sayXchange (see article above) and profiles young leaders who are making a difference in the lives of others.

Using the latest in e-book technology, ChangeMudança is easily downloadable onto PC or laptop and is published four times a year.

To read ChangeMudança, simply go to http://www.changemudanca.org/ ...you will be pleasantly surprised at how easy and attractive it is to read online.


Change4ever

Change4ever Campaign
Donations to the Trust are tax deductable!
Bank: Standard Bank
Account: Change4ever
Acc/No: 062794175
Branch: Midrand (Code: 00 11 55)
Type: Current account
Swift: SBZAZAJJ
Or give online at www.change4ever.org
The change4ever campaign reaches out to a new generation of people who want to support lasting solutions to poverty rather than temporary relief through conventional 'charity' to give to a solution rather than a problem.

Every cent raised through the Change4ever Campaign goes directly to poverty-eradication projects.
Lira puts her voice behind change4ever

Lira puts her voice behind change4ever
Singing sensation Lira has put her voice behind the Southern Africa Trust's change4ever campaign. She is pictured here with some of the young people that the Trust arranged to be part of the video shoot for her new change4ever song. Participants in the Trust's sayXchange programme also appear in the video for the song!

Several personalities and celebrities have lent their time and support to the change4ever campaign, including Lira, South African Music Awards (SAMA) award winning artist and songwriter, whose passion for change, particularly amongst young people, resonates strongly with the objectives of the change4ever campaign.

After several meetings over the course of a year, it finally became possible for Lira to do a change4ever theme song that will be on her new album. The video for the song was shot on Sunday, 19 December 2010 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

When the Trust launched the campaign in September 2008, Lira was amongst our first campaign ambassadors and has since participated in several initiatives under the change4ever banner, including a regional youth tour to several townships in Gauteng, where she shared her story and passion, in the hope that it would ignite a desire for change amongst the youth.

SMS THE WORD CHANGE TO 36545 TO SUPPORT THE CHANGE4EVER CAMPAIGN. EACH SMS COSTS R5.

Drivers of Change
 
The prestigious non-monetary awards recognise outstanding new ways of working together to overcome poverty in southern Africa.
 
Drivers of Change
"I want to pay tribute to the Southern Africa Trust for its incredible work in the region. Not only does it have good intentions - as many organisations do - it is staffed by hardworking and committed professionals and is driven by a clear strategy of change."
Brendan Cox
 
The Drivers of Change awards event attracts over 300 business, government, and civil society leaders from across the southern African region each year.
Gordon Brown's former special advisor on Africa speaks at the Drivers of Change awards

Gordon Brown's former special advisor on Africa speaks at the Drivers of Change awards
Brendan Cox, former special advisor to Gordon Brown on Africa and International Development giving a keynote address at the 2010 Drivers of Change Awards.

On 28 October 2010 Brendan Cox delivered a keynote address at the 2010 Drivers of Change awards held at Summer Place in Johannesburg, South Africa. The awards are presented by the Southern Africa Trust in partnership with the Mail & Guardian newspaper and its Investing in the Future awards.

Brendan is the former special advisor to the United Kingdom's former Prime Minister, Gordon Brown on Africa and international development. He is currently on a major project across the G20 to analyze trends in poverty and campaigning with a view to catalysing a new push to end extreme poverty.

"We need to be better at differentiating between micro-change and systemic change. That means researching our interventions rigorously and picking only those interventions that could lead to change beyond themselves, interventions that are scalable or which build a momentum that leads to fundamental realignment." said Brendan Cox underscoring the need to pay more attention to issues of growth, gender and governance.

Brendan called on African's to believe in themselves for change to take place.

Click here to read the full speech.

Sindiso Ngwenya
Sindiso Ngwenya, Secretary General of COMESA, receiving the award from Riah Phiyega, a trustee of the Southern Africa Trust.
 
Shirley Moulder
Shirley Moulder, a trustee of the Southern Africa Trust, giving the award to Joe Manciya and Joy Olivier of Ikamva Youth.
 
Alice Mogwe
Alice Mogwe, a trustee of the Southern Africa Trust, giving the award to Dayamoney Naidoo on behalf of Jay Naidoo.
 
Martha Mente
Martha Mente, the principal of Yeoville Community School, receiving the award from Vusi Gumede, the acting chairperson of the Southern Africa Trust.
... and the winners are

Congratulations to the 2010 Drivers of Change Awards winners:

In the government category:
Sindiso Ngwenya, Secretary General of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)
for being instrumental in bringing together the region's three economic blocs: COMESA, the East African Community (EAC), and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). This is resulting in the three communities rapidly working towards trading as a single market of about 600 million people, leading to more political stability and prosperity.

In the civil society category:
Ikamva Youth
, in recognition of the remarkable impact of their work that leverages the power of peer to peer learning, mentoring and volunteerism to enable young people to take hold of their own education and perform far above the average. The learners are drivers of change for setting a good example for other younger learners to become agents of change for their own success.

Special commendation was given to the Rural Women's Movement for using the experiences of poor rural women and girls to contribute to policy making processes and securing a better life for women.

In the individual category:
Jay Naidoo
, for driving socio-economic development not only in South Africa but in the whole southern Africa region and beyond. He has worked closely with poor communities and always affirms that his most important insights came directly from people facing the daily challenges of poverty.

Chairperson's award:
In recognition of the great work that organisations are doing to eradicate poverty, the judging panel introduced a new Southern Africa Trust Chairperson's Award. The award is given to outstanding organisations or individuals who may not have met all the criteria for the awards or may not have been nominated, but are making noteworthy contribution to driving systemic change in the way things are done in southern Africa.

The Yeoville Community School received the inaugural award for providing access to education to undocumented poor migrant children, in the face of the South African education system's hostility towards accepting undocumented migrants into the system.

"It is impossible to survive on an island of prosperity in the midst of a sea of poverty. Sooner or later the waves of poverty will make inroads into the island of prosperity."
Leonardo Simao
"Doing Responsible Business in Southern Africa" dialogue
Doing responsible business in southern Africa

The first in a series of dialogues organised by the Southern Africa Trust and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), with support from the Flemish Government, engaged government, business and civil society groups to find ways of encouraging responsible business practices in the region that benefit rather than exploit the poor.

The dialogue was held at the DBSA Vulindlela Academy in Midrand, South Africa, on November 25 and 26.

A full report on the dialogue is available from the Southern Africa Trust's Business for Development (B4D) Pathfinder team.

Doing responsible business in southern Africa
Former Zimbabwe Minister of Finance, Dr Simba Makoni and former Minister of Foreign Affairs in Mozambique and current Chief Executive Officer of the Joaquim Chissano Foundation, Dr Leonardo Simao participated in the 'Doing responsible business in southern Africa' dialogue.


The operating environment for civil society in Africa analysed
The operating environment for civil society in Africa analysed

The Southern Africa Trust and TrustAfrica have just released a new 425-page book called (Dis) Enabling the Public Sphere: Civil Society Regulation in Africa

Edited by TrustAfrica's Bhekinkosi Moyo with the foreword written by renowned development activist Graça Machel, the publication analyses relations between state and non-state actors in several African countries.

"This is a ground breaking collection of chapters about what is above and below Africa's current path. More than looking at what must be done to propel Africa along a rapid path to pro-poor development and how it should be done, it addresses questions about why that journey sometimes works and at other times does not from the perspective of African civil society formations" Neville Gabriel, Executive Director of the Southern Africa Trust.

CLICK HERE to read more.

Democratic South Africa's Response to Terror: The Case of PAGAD
Katiana recently published a book - Democratic South Africa's Response to Terror: The Case of PAGAD. The book analyses South Africa's strategies used in the mid 90's to combat terrorism, giving insights on the methods and problems democracy faced.
 
A poster drawn by Katiana
A poster drawn by Katiana as part of the Trust team's internal HIV and AIDS awareness raising and behaviour change programme on 1 December 2010.
Meet the team

Katiana Ramsamy - Project Coordinator in the Trust's programmes team

Katiana Ramsamy - Project Coordinator in the Trust's programmes team Katiana, who leads the youth initiatives at the Southern Africa Trust, is a true Southern African.

She was born in Mauritius, went to primary school in Zambia, secondary school in Botswana, and university in South Africa.

She is also familiar with Madagascar, as she often visited her parents there, as that is where they lived while she was a student at the University of Cape Town, where she obtained her masters degree in international relations.

After graduating, she joined the Trust in September 2009 as she says she strongly identifies with the Trust's aim to reduce poverty in the region. Ramsamy puts her money where her mouth is. In 2008, before she joined the Trust, she helped organise food, clothes and essential supplies for people displaced by the xenophobic attacks that raged across South Africa.

She also believes strongly in the way the Trust operates, saying it does things differently to other development agencies, going the extra mile in its efforts.

She feels strongly about the need to overcome poverty in the region as it is the cause of many other problems. Out of office, she takes time out to draw, paint, read and watch movies.

Who's been visiting us?

Marc Ravalomanana: President in exile of the Republic of Madagascar
Graça Machel: Founder of the Foundation for Community Development and the Mandela Institute for Development Studies
Joáo Caholo: Deputy Executive Secretary, Southern African Development Community (SADC) Secretariat
Kim Hamilton: Deputy Director, Global Development Policy and Advocacy, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Phil Couchman: Chief Executive Officer, DHL International

Upcoming Events

Event Date Venue
Launch of (Dis) Enabling the Public Sphere: Civil Society Regulation in Africa (Volume 1) 28 - 29 January 2011 Dakar, Senegal
Launch of South Africa Country Report on Compliance with African Union commitments 23 February 2011 Pretoria, South Africa
Public Dialogue: The Civil Society Regulatory Environment in Africa 23 February 2011 Pretoria, South Africa
Launch of the Call for Nominations for the 2011 Drivers of Change Awards 29 March 2011 TBC
Who we are and what we do

Visit our award-winning and constantly updated website, www.southernafricatrust.org for the latest information on what we've been up to.

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Southern Africa Trust contact details

4 Midridge North, International Business Gateway, 6th Road (off New Road), Midrand, South Africa

T:  +27 11 318 1012
F:  +27 11 318 0814
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Have you joined the Change4ever campaign?

If not, here are 8 very good reasons why you should:
  1. The Southern Africa Trust belongs to Southern Africa - it's an independent, non-profit agency governed by trustees from southern Africa.
  2. We cannot continue to depend on overseas aid and the goodwill of people in other parts of the world to support efforts to overcome poverty in our part of the world - it's our collective responsibility as people of southern Africa to do this.
  3. The best way to overcome poverty is to address its underlying causes, not just its immediate symptoms - we work for lasting change, so you will be giving to a solution and not a problem.
  4. Overcoming poverty must be a collective effort - none of us have all the answers or all the resources to overcome poverty alone but by working together and pooling our support, we can make a bigger difference.
  5. We already have our core operational costs covered, so everything that you give will go to others who are working for lasting solutions to poverty.
  6. We manage finances in accordance with the strictest principles of good corporate governance, transparency, and accountability.
  7. We are now approved by SARS in terms of section 18A of the SA Income Tax Act. Your donation to the Trust is now tax deductable. Any donations given to the Trust are also exempt from donations tax and estate duty. Donate now!
  8. Poverty is everyone's business. Get involved!
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Trustees: Dr Vusi Gumede (SA), Mr Denis Kadima (DRC),  Rev Joseph Komakoma (Zambia), Dr Perks Ligoya (Malawi), Dr Reginald Matchaba-Hove (Zimbabwe), Ms Alice Mogwe (Botswana), Ms Paula Monjane (Mozambique), Ms Shirley Moulder (SA), Ms Lucy Muyoyeta (Zambia), Ms Riah Phiyega (SA), Dr Prakash Ratilal (Mozambique)

 

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