Earlier in November, December Ndhlovu (Changing Practice graduate, mentor and facilitator), travelled to Maputo, Mozambique, to meet with activists and organisations associated with Africans Rising. Africans Rising is a Pan-African movement of people and organisations working for justice, peace and dignity.

Here is December's report on this meeting. 

Africans Risings: Launch of the National Engagement Platform in Mozambique

Date: 07 November 2018

Venue: Eduardo Mondlane Universisty, Maputo, Mozambique

Report by: December Ndhlovu

 

Acronyms:

AR – Africans Rising

CP – Changing Practice

CPC – Changing Practice Coalition

 

The trip to Maputo, Mozambique.

The trip started early on the 6th November 2018, catching a taxi to Nelspruit, where my bus was to leave for Mozambique at 12h30.

On arrival in Maputo I was met by Samuel, Cidia and Bruma - all young and vibrant.

On arrival at the Kapital Hotel in Maputo, I realized that they were using different electrical plugs and I immediately asked Samuel and the hotel staff if they could help with an adaptor so that I can be able to use my laptop that night. Well the news is that no one had an adaptor until the next morning when the store rooms are opened.  Samuel would only be able help me tomorrow at the conference. I wanted to look at the final report on the Changing practice: Olifants catchment course before I slept but I thought to do that in the morning before Jane calls me on WhatsApp to talk about the report before the conference.

I met Farida Bemba Nambourema, and the Mozambican crew over breakfast the following day.

The conference

The conference, the Launch of Mozambican National Engagement Platform which took place on the 7th November 2018 at the Eduardo de Mondlane Univserdade in Maputo, Mozambique. The conference started at 9h00. The average age of the attendees was about 25 years. It was attended by about 40 young people, mostly emerging entrepreneurs, artists and some NGO’s.

Introduction of AR’s work and history.

The introduction of AR and its history was shared by Farida Bemba Nambourema who is the Continental coordinator of the movement, Africans Rising. She explained that AR is a Pan-African movement of people and organizations, working for justice, peace and dignity. AR’s goal is to achieve wider solidarity and unity in the African continent, to realize and attain peace, social inclusion and shared prosperity. AR support activists by:

  • Amplifying the voice of the affected,
  • connecting struggles of communities across the continent and,
  • By building solidarity and cooperation within and amongst campaign for social, economic, environmental and gender justice.

In order for AR to achieve its goals, it builds relationships with:

  • Social movements and artists,
  • trade unions,
  • registered NGO’s and
  • Faith-based organizations.

AR is also engaging with Africans in the diaspora.

The aims of the conference

The aims and expected outcomes of the conference were also presented by Farida.  She explained the event was to launch a national engagement platform for Mozambique and to agree on priority areas that they want AR to help them achieve. This was to be done by breaking into 4 groups of social movements and artists, trade unions, registered NGO’s as well as faith based groups. Each group had to also choose a rapporteur that will take forward the resolutions taken by that particular group.

The group work

Unfortunately, only two of the intended 4 groups were represented in the audience. The groups represented were:

  • Social movements and artists
  • NGO’s

The AR coordinator expressed concerns that the Unions and Faith based groups were not represented in the audience because they need us as we need them. It was agreed that next time they should try by all means to have these categories represented. The youths were participating in numbers during the group works and it was obvious that they were frustrated by not getting employment from the government and industries as they expected. I think this also illustrates the expectations of the masses of this country after going through a long and brutal civil war that plunged the country into deep and sorrowful humanitarian crisis.

Group work resolutions

Interestingly in the NGO’s group where I was, a debate started between the youths, arguing if education is still relevant because when they grow up they were told that with education they will be rich or they will be employable. There was a fierce debate whether education should be part of the priority areas. Their argument was basically that most of them have post matric qualifications but it is very difficult to get a job or get assistance and support from the government. Well that is the reality our children face in Africa.

During the group work, the two groups prioritized the following:

  • Capacity building training
  • Research
  • Good governance
  • Health
  • Entrepreneurship opportunities
  • Education
  • Gender equality